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UPTOWN ARTWERX: Unique & Brilliant Art Work

“I really want people to know that art is a form of expression that takes A LOT of time to produce & takes a split second for the viewer to either love it or hate it. LOOK INTO the ART to gain appreciation of it. Everything you see isn’t as it appears, so peep ART WORK to realize what lies beneath the obvious. Some art may have a meaning that can only pertains to YOU!!! Encourage kids and former artists to pick up a pen, pad or paint brush to explore forms of visual expression. It can really expand your mind, ya diggz?” – Charlie V of Uptown Artwerx

Once in a while, we come across an artist who makes a difference in his art – one who memorializes an entire genre, generation or region. Meet Charlie Vaughn, Jr., who is just such an artist.

Charlie V. is the owner of Uptown Artwerx, a company offering much more than just art – it offers culture and a glimpse into the heart of a city – the city of New Orleans.

New Orleans has seen its share of artists come and go, but few have captured so many different aspects of the city, as has Charlie Vaughn, Jr. Check out our interview with Charlie V., and you’ll know there is so much more to his art. His talent is endless and very few capture the essence of a subject in the way in which Charlie V. does it. Check out what he had to say:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell us about your art.

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: It’s basically what I envision in my mind as parts of UPTOWN and beyond, from street life to wildlife – just done from an Uptown perspective – my own of course.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Your art captures the true essence of the city – the neighborhoods outside of the French Quarter – those that are the true heart of the city. What were your influences and how do you choose subjects for your art?

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: Most of the topics and subject matter I choose usually are below the radar OR things that are visible but not popular among the average artists choices. For example, I chose to paint a version of New Orleans rap Icon B.G because of his features. The average artists may overlook dude, but just from knowing his background and highs and lows, he fit what I felt was worth depicting through paint.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What types of custom orders do you do?

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: It depends on what the jobs call for. I try not to do as many logos as I did back in the 90’s & early 2000’s. At least 99 percent of my work is done by hand, Now my focus is on commissioned ART – actual sketches in styles – stippling/dot art or detailed line work, paintings on canvas, murals on walls – and I do have prints that can be purchased at in the merchandise section.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What does your city mean to you and to your art?

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: Woooow….It means without Uptown New Orleans, there would NOT be a Charlie Vaughn, Jr. …period. From Charity Hospital, to Back-Ah-Town to S. Cortez to Eagle Street, to Palmetto – now Drexel – to to Palms Street …. Hollygrove and ALL – and I mean ALL of UPTOWN – heavily influenced me . I had spent most of my life translating the good & the garbage environment into art and I hope to strike a chord with those who aren’t familiar with it. Now keep in mind my work is Uptown /NOLA centric, BUT NOT LIMITED to only that. Let’s be clear – The U.P.T is my beginning point and I hope to go far as my art can take me.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Music has an obvious influence on your art. Tell us about that & about your different talents.

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: Yes, very much so – from James Brown to Jimi Hendrix. Music is the pulse of the art, better yet the soundtrack – if you can imagine a continuous soundtrack changing up like a DJ inside my head! My mom & pop collected records and I would spend hours just looking at the covers at the crazy colors and concepts. It had to filter into my system eventually and I collected records up until Katrina. I lost over 2,000 records, tapes, CDs, etc.). Actually, I worked in a music store,  Odyssey Records, for almost 10 years and cultivated relationships with many N.O rap and bounce legends and parlayed it into actual underground classic art. I did the first two covers for Magnolia Slim a/k/a Soulja Slim. As far as my other “talents”, I used to do the whole B-boy thing – dance, rap, Dj….now I pretty much emcee parties and spoken word shows and I dabble in production. Hopefully, I’ll add author and documentary producer, if all goes well – we’ll see.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Where will we see Uptown Artwerx in the next several years?

CHARLIE V OF UPTOWN ARTWERX: If the Most High says the same, I really want to get established globally, yet still give that 504 appeal to the world. Who knows? Maybe my kids will get the bug and take over the business… and no, I’m not JOE JACKSON! Ha!

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can check out Charlie V’s art on

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.


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