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Ralph McKnight Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. Ralph’s father, Ralph McKnight Sr. was an artist in the classic sense who painted stunning oil portraits and landscapes and, as well, did photography. His father also managed to amass an amazing collection of jazz recordings. Understandably, Ralph McKnight Jr. was born to carry on in the tradition of his father. Before Ralph Jr. began to explore the wonderful world of artistic design he played music for several years mainly in jazz circles with his own jazz quintets, sextets and trios along with several jazz notables. During the years he was playing music he also majored in Electrical Engineering at Howard University while working, as well, for twenty years as an Air Traffic Controller for the F.A.A. For four of those years he worked in the Republique du Congo as an Air Traffic Control Expert and Technical Assistance Liaison for the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization. Upon returning from Africa Ralph Jr. began to explore the art of his father mainly through finger painting and the use of spatulas. In this realm Ralph began to develop a love for bright and vividly colorful abstracts. Many of Ralph Jr’s designs reflect the geometrical shapes so common in the mathematics encountered through the study of engineering.
After retiring from the F.A.A. and moving to California Ralph again began to explore the use of vivid, exciting colors in abstract designs. Ralph has now begun to apply his designs to a variety of mediums including fabrics, ceramic tiles, posters, album covers etc. Ralph’s renewed and heightened interest in design has led to a creative and profitable alliance with Interior Designers, Architects, Developers and art collectors many of whom are now including his designs in some of their projects. Ralph’s designs have been exhibited in the Art College of Design in Pasadena,California and the African American Museum in Los Angeles, California. In this renewed pursuit of beauty and excitement through color Ralph has finally begun to give full birth to the artistic inspiration endowed in him by his father.
Ralph's works have been compared to those of Kandinsky, Miro, Klee and other gifted abstractionists.
© All of the images on this website are copyrighted original artworks by their author and are protected by international copyright law. No materials in this gallery may be reproduced, copied, downloaded, or used in any form without written permission of the contemporary artist Ralph McKnight.