Denise Charles, aka BLU, wants art lovers to feel something when they look at her work.  My goal is to stir up emotions! If the piece has caused any type of emotion to arise from the viewer, then I consider it a job well done,” she said.

The Brooklyn native has been a Miami resident for most of her adult life. In addition to painting, she is an illustrator, tattoo artist & digital designer.  She specializes in painting vivid portraits on a variety of surfaces heavily influenced by Hip Hop and street Culture.

“I am a visual communicator through a variety of platforms, however, my passion is painting. I love tattooing and illustration. My artwork is an interpretation of the gritty sounds and emotions of the Hip Hop generation reflecting the thoughts that flood my mind.”

BLU, a member of the graphics team at the South Florida Times, said, “There are multiple meanings for each piece and I encourage the viewer to freely interpret. I look at every opportunity as a challenge to learn something new and to build something great.”

BLU elaborates:

Art means...expressing ones creative skill and imagination, typically in visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing work to be appreciated primarily for its aesthetics or emotional power.

I create because… it is a natural expression that comes forth, I believe we are all creators; I’ve been blessed with the ability to interpret life through art.

Being a part of Art Basel/Soul Basel is… amazing! An awesome opportunity to share my work and meet fellow artists. It is the best time of year for anyone that loves arts and culture.

Ultimately, I want my work to… make an impact! There is mixing of the soul and skill being used when I create. I would like my art to travel the world, stirring up the emotions of the viewer and inspiring thought.

During Art Basel/Soul Basel, BLU’s work will be featured at Jakmel Art Gallery, 3501 SW 2nd Ave Miami. Her work may also be viewed and purchased via