Artist DL Warfield brings his art to the new Mercedes-Benz stadium and the Westside Cultural Arts Center
Atlanta creative designer DL Warfield spends most of his days running the creative services company Goldfinger CS in Alpharetta. He’s a pro at creative direction, copywriting and brand innovation yet is also making a name for himself through pop art and patriotic painting.
This December, Warfield will have an exhibit called “A Million Likes” at Westside Cultural Arts Center. The show will consist of pop art and famous icons, with a comedic or sarcastic take on how everyone wants to be star “Entertainment and vanity are constantly and forever shaping society every second of the day, especially with social media,” Warfield says.
“A Million Likes” is just one of Warfield’s recent projects. While pop art entertains, Warfield has been painting different themes of the American flag in a collection titled “American Flag Remix.” He’s exchanged red, white and blue for other colors and mediums and has even blended in flags of other nations.
“[The American flags] are like mission statements. Each is built on the foundation of the American flag, but the aesthetic changes based on who you are,” Warfield says. “That’s synonymous with how we are as Americans: We are built on the foundation of America, but everyone’s story and view is different.”
When he started painting the flags in 2013, Warfield’s personal goal was to get into every professional and collegiate sports arena and contribute to corporate brands. Today, two works from the collection are on display in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “It’s my largest artistic accomplishment in the fine art arena,” Warfield says.
Warfield submitted samples of his work and concepts he wanted to create, becoming one of a select few chosen out of more than 600 applicants. One of the flags, “The United States of Rise Up,” speaks to the Atlanta Falcons; “United States of the Game that Unites Us” is for Atlanta United. The flags are displayed in private suites, which means they aren’t accessible to all visitors, but Warfield says he’s proud that the new facility is focusing so much on the arts.
“I think it’s amazing that [Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner] Arthur Blank and the others at Mercedes-Benz Stadium decided to invest in Atlanta arts. It’s not often that people make a connection between art and sports.
Creating art about sports comes naturally to Warfield, who was an athlete in college. He went to Southern Illinois on a track scholarship and then transferred to Washington University in St. Louis for track and football. Not only did he win scholarships for both, but he was team captain and first-team All-Conference for the two sports at Washington University. “Football has been a passion of mine, whether I was playing or coaching it,” Warfield says. “Being an athlete gave me a competitive advantage as an artist. The advantage is that you couldn’t discourage me, and I would always try to prove naysayers wrong.”
Warfield’s last exhibit, “My Boyfriend’s Black,” at Westside Cultural Arts Center, was based on America’s views on interracial relationships, past and present. “I came up with the title because my wife is Italian, we grew up in St. Louis and we went through the ringer with our relationship, and yet we have been together since high school,” Warfield says. He made images of fictitious interracial couples he could see being together, such as Tupac Shakur and Audrey Hepburn, J.F.K. and Rihanna, The Notorious B.I.G. and Marilyn Monroe, and Bruce Lee and Serena Williams. Warfield says Dr. James Chappuis, the Westside Center’s owner, loves art, and the curation process reflects that. “The Westside Cultural Arts Center is willing to take risks,”
Warfield says. “They don’t approach the artists in the exhibits by customer base, but by believing in artists and by showing their work. They want to create exposure opportunities based on liking what you see.” Visit dlwarfield. com to learn more about the artist’s work.
Westside Cultural Arts Center
760 10th Street, N.W.,
STORY: Grace Huseth