Portrait artist Gordon Shadrach was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario in 1966 and has lived in Toronto for over 25 years. Gordon started painting in 2013 and paints in oil and acrylic on wood. He has exhibited in solo and group art shows in Canada and the United States. He works from photographs at his in-home studio in Toronto’s East end.
He received his B. Des. (MAAD) from OCAD University and has a Master of Education degree from Niagara University. In the Spring of 2018, Gordon’s painting, “In Conversation”, was included in an exhibit developed by the Royal Ontario Museum titled, “Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art”.
In the Summer of 2018 the exhibit went on tour and was presented at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and opened at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in June of 2019. Aside from his portraits, Gordon is known for his insightful artist’s talks and has appeared as a panelist on the TVO’s the Agenda (Reinventing the Museum) and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning (Group of Seven Out, Under-represented Artists In at the AGO).
Gordon’s community engagement includes working with Toronto’s Nia Centre for the Arts as a creative consultant for their Left of Centre artist incubation project. He is also working with Dr. Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstill, Dean of Design at OCADU, as a team member to develop and implement the Black Youth Design Initiative (BYDI) which aims to engage Black youth by decolonizing design and addressing the systemic anti-Black racism that impedes Black communities from pursuing education in design.
Toronto artist Gordon Shadrach is becoming well-known for his striking portraits of black men. He's painted them wearing everything from five-piece Victorian-era suits to hoodies and ripped jeans — even faces peering out from under dreadlocks, top hats, headwraps and fitted hats. The portraits challenge anyone looking at them to consider what stereotypes they might have about black men.
Gordon Shadrach, Revered, oil on wood, antique French frame, 21.5" x 37.25"