THE MAIN CHARACTER in the Netflix movie “Really Love” is an artist who makes heavily impastoed portraits, candid scenes of everyday life. Kofi Siriboe of “Queen Sugar” stars in the love story as Isaiah. The paintings attributed to his character in the film were actually created by artist Gerald Lovell.

Chicago-born, Atlanta-based Lovell is largely self-taught. An avid photographer, Lovell is inspired by the images in his grandmother’s voluminous photo albums. The artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City, was presented at PPOW gallery earlier this year. “Gerald Lovell: All That I Have” featured nine paintings produced in 2020.


Paintings by Chicago-born, Atlanta-based artist Gerald Lovell are featured in the film “Really Love.” | Video by StayMACRO


“Really Love” is about an up-and-coming artist struggling to find his voice and make it in the art world and at the same time nurture a budding relationship with a law student named Stevie (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing).

The cast also includes Michael Ealy, Uzo Aduba (“In Treatment” and “Orange is the New Black”), Tristan Mack Wilds (“90210” and “The Wire”), Blair Underwood, and Suzzanne Douglas (1957–2021).

Set in Washington, D.C., the project was filmed primarily in Baltimore. Key scenes were shot at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Baltimore School for the Arts.

The film is directed by Angel Kristi Williams and written by Felicia Pride. Both are from Baltimore. Williams spoke to Baltimore magazine about the project and how she got Lovell to participate. She said:

“I sent him a cold email that just said, ‘Hey, I’m making a film about an artist who’s trying to get his first show while in the midst of falling in love’ and he read it in a day and he emailed me back and he said, ‘Oh my God, this is my life!’ Three years later, he’s had his first big gallery show. I was so lucky to have met him at the time I did and was able to include his work in the film.”

Thirteen works by Lovell, dating from 2016 to 2018, are featured in “Really Love.” Works by artists Noah Davis (1983-2015), Ronald Jackson, Meleko Mokgosi, Kohshin Finley, Andy Robert, John Simmons, Chanel Compton, Asha Elana Casey, Jerrell Gibbs, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Chinedu Felix, and Chinedu Felix Osuchukwu also appear in the film. CT


FIND MORE about Gerald Lovell’s work on Instagram


Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.