Through the use of their respective medium, artists like Mohau Modisakeng and Mário Macilau reclaim the African narrative.
For the past few decades, a different generation of artists is using everchanging technology to create not just a new type of art, but a new type of artist. Unlike the very homogenous club of the traditional art world, the digital art world is incredibly diverse, with all sorts of people, of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the world.
Meet the man behind the images that drove the Black Is Beautiful movement at its inception.
From studio portraits to street documentation, Addison Scurlock's photography tells the story of early 20th century Black Americans.
After a barrage of criticism for his initial NFT inspired by the late Chadwick Boseman, artist Andre Oshea created a new work that addressed many of those critics. His new work, in comparison to his last, showed the capabilities the digital medium has.
Let’s unfold three long-standing polarities at stake in the art world: Government vs. Market, Freedom vs. Authority, and Provocation vs. Decadence.
Not only to make them ‘real’, Bey also illustrates the idea of possibilities and forgotten intimate historical violence. In the words of Maurice Berger for the New York Times, Bey transforms the “epochal story into a flesh and blood reality… through images of contemporary Americans who are no different from us”.
Twenty-six pieces of the"Treasure of Behanzin" looted from the Abomey Palace in 1892 will leave the Quai-Branly Museum for Benin.Even though we can only appreciate these gestures, we must also realise that it represents a small share of stolen African art. If President Macron (or any other European leader) decides to massively restitute stolen pieces of art that African countries have been claiming for a long time, it could turn the tide and lead to a structural change in mentalities.
Years later, another photographer captured images of herself within staged scenes in a series titled The Kitchen Table Series. Just like Sherman’s series, nothing was completely out of the ordinary in these photos. At first glance, they look like something out of the film roll of any ordinary family or film stills from a yet-to-be-seen film. A woman is embracing a man. A mother is teaching her daughter how to put on make-up. A woman is getting her hair done by another. Scenes from daily life. They’re all completely ordinary, yet that is exactly why they are extraordinary.
Photography as a way to change and empower communities is a method that’s been used many times throughout history. It speaks to the power that images, especially photography, have. Or as renowned photographer Gordon Parks liked to call it, it’s a powerful weapon.
His heritage had influenced not only the Surrealists but the whole perception of the photography, particularly the documentary one. Eugène Atget created a series of visually informative documents that launched a creative pursuit of new forms and optics revealing a mysterious side of the city life that enchants even the most blasé audience of modern times.
“Like the majority of Palestinians who became exiles inLebanon after 1948, they were never able to obtain Lebanese identity cards. It was one way of discouraging them from integrating into the Lebanese situation.When I went to London in 1975 for what was meant to be a brief visit, I got stranded there because the war broke out in Lebanon, and that created a kind of dislocation, [which] manifests itself in my work…” Mona Hatoum (1998)
What is important to Manal is to make an impact on the viewer. In her most popular piece, Suspended Together, she unifies women around Saudi Arabia in representing them as a flock of birds. The birds are suspended in air yet are immobilized, reflecting the immobility of Saudi Arabain women in their own countries, in their own home. This piece shows the audience the feeling women have to deal with on a daily basis, as they need special slips in order to move around. The words of the slip are etched onto the white birds - free but not completely - from real slips allowing women from all around to travel. Manul wrote the following about the piece, “regardless of age and achievement, when it comes to travel, all these women are treated like a flock of suspended doves.”
Are we witnessing a redefinition of the concept of art, with a more global, less elitist vision of what makes the beauty of a work? It seems that the artistic landscape is changing, through its promotion on social media and the use of less traditional mediums.
With a direct and raw narration, Jafa transfers the message in another form of protest and expression of Black culture, as it is the exact opposite of calculated, cold and always (slightly) censored White media and authors.
Taking place from September to October 2020, Kadara Enyeasi’s last exhibition at KÓ Art Space in Lagos is truly fascinating. Entitled “Is it not enough for the sea to be beautiful?”, this new body of works focuses on the ocean as a symbolic representation of alienation...
Born in 1991, the photographer discovered ballrooms In Baltimore, when she was still a teenager. This culture really helped her shape her sexuality and gender expression. She said that as a gay Black woman, she developed an androgynous version of herself, which ran counter to the typical « dominant, butch » lesbian stereotype that prevails. Through voguing, she could express both her feminity and her masculinity (or at least what is seen as feminity and masculinity)
Robert Hughes’ once stated “Apart from drugs, art is the biggest unregulated market in the world”...
The term ‘Afrofuturism’ was originally defined by cultural critic Mark Derry in 1993, in an essay called ‘Black to the Future’. Yet, the idea has existed for much longer. Missy Elliot, Janet Jackson and Solange Knowles have explored the movement.
To reflect modernity and ultimately transgressing assumptions on Black identity and history, the art movement centered its focus on a novel approach to developing art – not only acknowledging ancient tradition but defining the contemporary Blackness.
In the search of self discovery one can learn not only of himself but help others discover similarities between you and them. As an extension of this idea, as human beings we spread our culture in the same, if not intertwined way. This is what El Seeds work is about. His art is based off of a very distinctive form which makes it easy to recognize all around the world. Yet each piece has a unique meaning associated with a particular time, place or idea.