At an early age Paul Goodnight utilized artistic expression as a means of communications. From his young life where he steadily ran into trouble avoiding school and authority to his traumatic experience in Viet Nam when he lost his ability to speak, art has been his saving grace.
Born in Chicago, Goodnight's upbringing took place primarily in New London, Connecticut and Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised in a loving and disciplined foster home by a couple he describes as his role models for proper parenting.
After returning from Vietnam, Goodnight was so traumatized by images of war that he was unable to speak. Though some thought he had lost his mind, he knew he hadn't and began to communicate with his drawings the horrors of the war. Through this catharsis he was able to heal himself and regain his voice. Shortly thereafter he enrolled in Vesper George School of Art only to face another battle - his lack of academic experience. Determined tosucceed, he enrolled in English Courses at Roxbury Community College and eventually earned a Bachelor's Degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 1976.
His creative efforts were nurtured and inspired by several local artists including Dana Chandler, Gary Rickson and painting instructor Paul Rahilly. Today he continues to interact with "Master" African-American artists such as Alan Crite and John Biggers who he considers mentors who carved the path many contemporary black artists now travel.
Goodnight has developed his own unique aesthetic philosophy to document the humanity of Black people around the world. he often incorporates African themes and symbols to provide depths of history and culture. He has traveled extensively, living among the people of Russia, China, Haiti, Nicaragua and Brazil. What he finds are the universal themes for his work through diverse cultural lens