Charlie French is a successful artist who also happens to have Down syndrome. Painting in his Dallas studio daily, the 28-year-old has sold his art to collectors around the world.
While he was living in London, his talent was first noticed by an instructor who praised Charlie’s strong sense of color and composition, and encouraged his parents to help him pursue art as a career. His paintings were recently displayed at a Dallas art gallery for a fundraiser with the organization Dwell with Dignity, benefitting the homeless and those who live in poverty.
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Inclusion matters Friends. This pic was one of my best nights ever. It was at the amazing @algcollective for the Art+Color Party supporting @dwellwithdignity and Thrift Studio 2020. My art was chosen and I was surrounded by 24 other cool Dallas artists. I was so proud. Friends, I am a part of an arts community! . . . #inclusion #inclusionmatters #pledgetoinclude #bestbuddies #specialolympics #vsainternational #respectisthenewrword #justcharliefrench @bestbuddies @specialolympics @vsainternational
More than anything, Charlie wants people to see him not just as someone with Down syndrome, but as an artist:
Yes, I have Down syndrome, but I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t want you to see that. I want you to see me, Charlie French. Just Charlie French. Then I want you to see my ART! I am an artist, an abstract artist. I have my very own art studio in Dallas, Texas. I use my imagination to be FREE, and paint whatever I feel like painting.
Most of his paintings are abstract interpretations of a certain feeling, food, or experience – for example, he has a series of paintings inspired by bubble gum, (such as the one above) while the painting below is based on taking a boat ride.
Regarding his artistic process, he says:
I like colors and shapes. Sometimes I do a lot. Sometimes not. I don’t think about it. I have fun.