Cbabi Bayoc

Cbabi (pronounced Kuh-bob-bi) Bayoc is a visual artist and illustrator residing in St. Louis, Missouri. His work can be identified through unique, bold, and colorful artistry, while adding some “phunk”. Bayoc, whose given name is Clifford Miskell, Jr., adopted his name CBABI (Creative-Black-Artist-Battling-Ignorance) during his time at Grambling State University (‘92-‘95). BAYOC (Blessed-African-Youth-Of-Creativity) provided a unique and deep connection that could be one day shared with his children.

Following the name change, Bayoc was approached to exhibit artwork at an organization called Dignity House in St. Louis, which was a beneficiary for Prince’s Love 4 One Another (L4OA) charity tour. The volunteer team recorded the food donation event on July 27, 1997, and took the footage back to Prince. The rest, as they say, is history. Prince liked what he saw and collected Bayoc’s art for many years. On October 20, 2000, the day Bayoc’s first child was born, Prince’s management called to request samples of new work. Prince used one of the pieces he acquired during that round, “Reine Keis Quintet”, as the cover art for his 23rd studio album, The Rainbow Children, which was released in 2001. The artwork was also the centerpiece of Prince’s first Celebration event held at his Paisley Park complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, June 13-17, 2001, celebrating The Rainbow Children album and the re-claiming of Prince’s name after the expiration of his Warner Brothers contract.

If you were to visit St. Louis, you will probably see Bayoc’s masterpieces on/in homes, hospitals, residential buildings, within small businesses and major corporations, throughout schools, in libraries, and other areas where appreciation of art can be acknowledged. A few things that Bayoc holds near and dear to his heart include enjoying family (embarrassing his teenage children) and supporting family-owned and small businesses. He also maintains his dedication to supporting his community and takes action to help shift the narrative for African American culture and establish the breakthrough for black artists. Bayoc continues and will always use his platform and talents to voice the need for equality, social justice and economic fairness, systemic changes, and development for African Americans.