Paul Goodnight’s vibrant and emotional work has often been a reflection of his life--from the demons he faced during the Vietnam War to the time he was incarcerated “I’ve learned that art is making me, rather then me creating it.” His creative efforts are nurtured and inspired by several local artists, like Allan Rohan Crite and Dana Chandler. Goodnight had a close relationship with Master African-American artist and mentor John Biggers (1924-2001), who carved the path many contemporary black artistsnow travel.
Goodnight has developed his own unique aesthetic philosophy to document the humanity of people around the world. He often incorporates African themes and symbols to provide depths of history and culture. He has studied and traveled extensively to different parts of the world, living among the people of Russia, China, Haiti, Nicaragua, Africa and Brazil.
Goodnight’s images have appeared in television and film since 1984: Seinfeld, Arliss, Jackie Brown, The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and the Hughleys to name a few. Paul has been featured in numerous publications such as Architectural Digest, Ebony, Essence, People Magazine and the Boston Globe. His works are amongst the collections of such notables as Maya Angelou, Wesley Snipes, Samuel Jackson, Angela Basset, Judith Jamison, Victoria Rowell, and NBA hall-of-famer Isaiah Thomas. His work has been exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of the National Center of African American Artists and the Smithsonian. He has been the recipient of many achievements and awards such as receiving a commission for the 1996 Olympics, The U.S. Sports Academy Artist of the Year Award in 1997, and the World Cup Soccer Poster of 1998.
Some of Goodnight's achievements include being commissioned by Geovision for Mass Dept. of Public Health Minority Adult Male Anti Smoking Campaign; American Airline, Don Coleman Advertising and Top Artist, Inc. to do a commemorative piece for Black Enterprise 30th Anniversary and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Award. He was commissioned to do a piece to raise funds for the African American Research Library in FL which auctioned for $32,500 and was commissioned to do a piece by The Valley Inc. in NY which auctioned for $51,000. His works were showcased at the Schomburg Center in NY sponsored by Toyota and Essence Magazine for the Essence Awards 2000, the 2000 African American Achievement Award, WILD local radio station 21st Century Award and the Mass College of Art May 1999 Honorary Masters Degree. He was commissioned to design a ceramic mural for the entrance of the Orlando Airport, a commission to create an original work for the cover of the Official 2000 souvenir magazine of The Boys Choir of Harlem, and featured in the Official Souvenir Magazine of Alvin Ailey for the 1999/2000 season. Paul artwork entitled “What Your Heart Hears” was auctioned for $70,000 at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children in Las Vegas in October 2007.