Siro Amersonclaims himself inside his room, painting upon hours at a time, shut off from the mayhem of the societal world that boisters around him. Whether he’s painting a structured composition or freestyling, the activity itself seems to “soothe the storm” brewing inside of him; all the weight stemming from fatherhood and having to provide, along with the other vital roles being a man – or a decent human being, even – entails. “I drown myself in art. When I paint, I feel like a kid again; it brings me back to my childhood.”
Born on October 20th, 1977 in Eutaw, Alabama, Siro Amerson was the youngest of seven elder children. His siblings were constantly bringing in the hottest vinyl hits, equipped with the most elaborate cover artwork of the century. Album posters of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Bee Gees and Jackson 5 adorn his room. Frequenting the local theaters was a must in order to catch flicks like Star Wars, Shaft and Grease across the big screen. Other stimuli included local ranches, farms and miles of lush-green-Delta pastures that found Amerson wandering to as a child, sometimes staying for hours as the sun set beneath them. The late 70’s & early 80’s and all their glory fed Amerson’s subconscious, wherein he would find himself regurgitating his roots into his passions.
In the early 90’s, Amerson moved to Los Angeles and picked up rapping, one of the major instruments within the Hip-Hop art form. With it, he began producing, making soundtracks and learning the piano. But amid all the gang-related, drug-laden violence transpiring in South-Central LA at the time, Amerson did not realize his rap music goals. Instead, he saw himself undesirably vacuumed into the violence; and spent his efforts trying to survive yet escape it. After having his first child as a late teenager, he moved his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Not too far from his home stood the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and though he had passed by it hundreds of times before, he never visited it, for the fulltime schedule of being a family-man never broke itself to permit him the time. But one morning, he walked in, purchased his ticket, changing his life forever. He was exposed to artists like Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, but gravitated more toward Jean-Michel Basquiat. Amerson began painting immediately.
Today, he paints 1 – 2 compositions a day, drawing inspiration from other art, music, television, movies, family, siblings, homeless individuals and other people that he interacts with. He has had to move his bed into his living room, because his bedroom is filled with paintings, canvases and other materials. The art-life has him completely “consumed”. “Through my painting, I can express my emotions, something I was never able to do coming from where I come from; you aren’t allowed to. I feel like my humanity is waking up, taking over the savage in me,” said a determined Siro Amerson, showing no signs of stopping.
----Robert Amerson (alum guitarist from USC Thornton School of Music)