Artist Spotlight

May 9, 2022Giana De Dier: How an artist reshapes history through collage

Born in Panama, artist Giana De Dier is acutely aware of the history of how she came to be in a country thousands of kilometers from where her ancestors came from. This displacement of Africans is a topic she often explores in her collages. Centering the Afro-Caribbean people in her collages, she constructs a powerful image with archival pictures. These archival photographs, once a fetishized look at the black body, become a celebration of the life and culture of the people that came before her. 

May 2, 2022Artist Spotlight: Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi has depicted herself as a feministic artist because most of her work entails violence meted upon black women in society. Mutu tries to show how black women in society have been subjected to serial harassment by members of society. Mutu's work seems quite contradictory because she depicts a problematic society and at the same is hopeful that society will change how it treats women.

March 21, 2022Edmonia Lewis: Woman of Steel

Edmonia Lewis was the first sculptor of African American and Native American descent to achieve international recognition. Edmonia's Neoclassical works exploring religious and classical themes won contemporary praise and received renewed interest in the late 20th century.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: The Goodridge Brothers

As one of the first families of Black photographers, the Goodridge Brothers gave more dignified and nuanced portraits of the Black Americans of the time.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: Felicia Abban

As the first professional female photographer in Ghana, Felicia Abban immortalizes the female gaze in the mid to late 20th century.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: Harvey C. Jackson

Harvey C. Jackson was another trailblazer that started the legacy of Black photographers in the United States. Though he was born in Cleveland, Jackson later moved to Detroit and possibly became the first African-American to set up a photo studio in the city. Jackson is most well-known for his documentation of the African-American community in Detroit. He was an active member of many groups, giving him an insight that outsiders could never have.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: James Van Der Zee

Born in 1886 in Lenox, Massachusetts, James Van Der Zee did not seek to be a photographer. With an early gift in music, Van Der Zee was an aspiring violinist. At the age of 14, he was gifted a camera, and the trajectory of his career shifted. As one of the few people in his city with a camera, Van Der Zee became a sought-after young man, documenting the rich lives of Black Americans in his town. 

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: Augusta Savage

Born in 1892, Augusta Savage has always wanted to be an artist since she was young when she would carve animals out of clay in her backyard. Though women were encouraged to be performing artists (think singers and dancers) the thought of a woman being a visual artist was basically unheard of. It got to the point where her father would try to beat the art out of her. But it didn’t work. Her teacher spotted her talent and so began Savage’s career as a sculptor.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: Faith Ringgold

Ringgold explored many mediums throughout her long career, like painting and printmaking. However, Ringgold would mostly be known for her textile works. Following a long legacy of fabric artists in her matriarchal line, Ringgold learned about the legacy of quilts and their importance in African-American history.

March 21, 2022Artist Spotlight: Franck Kemkeng

Noah’s inspiration is drawn between the fusion of cultures and the creation of palaces of memory, through an 'appropriation of Manifesto of the Anthropophagus', published in 1928 by the Brazilian poet and polemicist Oswald de Andrade, a key figure in the cultural movement of Brazilian Modernist.

December 14, 2021Artist Spotlight: Àsìkò

Àsìkò’s art is a self-exploration of his own identity, and he’s graciously allowed us to come along for a ride.

December 6, 2021Artist Spotlight: Rendani Nemakhavhani

South African art director and illustrator Rendani Nemakhavhani first created the persona PR$DNT HONEY during the 2019 South African national elections. Under this moniker, she continues to create works celebrating the lives of Black women.

December 6, 2021Artist Spotlight: Roméo Mivekannin

Using a tapestry of cloth dipped in voodoo potions as his canvas, he tackles one of the biggest problems in Western art history: the objectification and fetishization of the Black body

November 29, 2021Nana Kofi Acquah: Between Photography and Activism

Available from the 19th of September 2020 to the 3rd of January 2021, the new exhibition ‘Trembling Landscape:Between Reality and Fiction’ brings together eleven artists from North Africa and the Middle East. Presented at the EYE FILM Museum in Amsterdam, these engaged and versatile artists look at landscapes from a novel and critical stand. Not only exploring the question of borders, these artists bring to life stories about landscapes’ past, present and future.

November 29, 2021“We exist, we resist, we persist” - Zanele Muholi on the Black LGBTQ+ Identity

Portraits in high black and white contrast, Zanele Muholi proposes a visually appealing and engaged work rooted in her affirmed ‘visual activism’...

November 9, 2021Artist Spotlight: David Shrobe

Like many artists, David Shrobe look to his past and his home to inspire his creations. Unlike many artists, Shrobe physically incorporates parts of his history into his creations. With a family history that can be traced almost a century back, Shrobe has inherited some items rich with stories. In turn, he incorporates these historical items into a similarly charged artwork about identities and history. 

November 9, 2021Artist Spotlight: Murjoni Merriweather

With her sculptures, artist Murjoni Merriweather aims to highlight and celebrate the natural features of Black bodies.

November 9, 2021Artist Spotlight: Ludovic Nkoth

With his bright and bold strokes of color, Nkoth brings to life the humanity and the stark reality they have to go through.

November 9, 2021Artist Spotlight: Tariku Shiferaw

For artist Tariku Shiferaw, the mark is a concept that he constantly grapples with. A mark is a way for humans to leave behind their presence. When used purposefully, it becomes a storytelling tool that’s utilized as early as the presence of the cave marks. When simplified, a mark becomes a line. It’s a feature that’s heavily repeated in Shiferaw’s works. It’s present in the painted lines he creates or the shipping crates he utilized.

October 12, 2021Nate Lewis: Unknown histories through patterns, textures, and rhythm

Partially influenced by his medical background, artist Nate Lewis explores history using patterns, textures, and rhythm.

October 8, 2021Artist Spotlight: Zéh Palito

Palito’s work is bright, bold, and most importantly, it tells a story. Taking inspiration from Brazilian and African culture, his works imagine a utopia where humans can seamlessly co-exist with nature.

October 8, 2021Artist Spotlight: Tyler Ballon

Both in grandness, color, and composition, Ballon’s works evoke the same aura as Christian arts of yore. Mixed with the contemporariness of Ballon’s subjects, his work becomes a powerful message of the lives and plight of the modern Black people.

October 8, 2021With perseverance and ingenuity, photographer and artist Awuku Darko Samuel wants to inspire the next generation to create

There is an avant-garde quality to Samuel’s photographs. True to his mission, Samuel utilizes whatever he could get his hands on to create his highly conceptual works.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Nikita Gale

Whether it’s through playing with her materials or by performing in front of an audience, Gale breaks apart and dissects the political, social, and economic systems we’re all a part of.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Mona Taha

With nothing but her charcoal, she captures contemplative moments of the woman in her work

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: David Alekhuogie

Alekhuogie takes items and iconography that are often associated with Black culture and examines their existence and why we see them as they are. 

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Brittany Tucker

Brittany Tucker's doodles both reverse the racist narrative and emphasize them.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Nina Chanel Abney

Artist Nina Chanel Abney’s abstract paintings capture the frenetic contemporary culture of today, combining her signature bold colors and abstractions with the representation of diverse subjects.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Dawn Okoro

Inspired by fashion and Black culture, Dawn Okoro creates compelling images of Black bodies.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

Brown tells his stories through the intimate portrayal of Black bodies and how they interact with and occupy the space around them.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Darryl DeAngelo Terrell

Like many photographers before them, Darryl DeAngelo Terrell has used the camera to create a different, and at times opposing, narrative from what the media depicts.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Troy Michie

Inspired by his diverse hometown, Michie's collages explore the intersection between different identities.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Wonder Buhle Mbambo

Growing up in the village of Kwangcolosi in Kwa Zulu Natal to a spiritual healer mother, artist Wonder Buhle Mbambo’s works are greatly influenced by the spiritual side of his culture.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Mo Baala

From painting to sculpture, photography to performance, music to poetry, Baala will not hesitate to use whatever medium is available to him to satisfy his creative needs.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Djeneba Aduayom

Having spent years as a professional dancer, Djeneba Aduayom spent her life thinking about movement and the human body. After an injury caused her to rethink her life and career, she picked up a camera and began exploring the human body in another way.

September 17, 2021Artist Spotlight: Patrick Quarm

As vibrant as his paintings can be on screen, it is the three-dimensional aspect of his paintings that truly makes them special.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe

Quaicoe’s stunning paintings always touch upon his experience as an African entering the African American community.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Alex Gardner

Artist Alex Gardner is known for his oil paintings of faceless silhouettes with as few identifying details as possible.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Tommy Mitchell

Mitchell’s softly rendered portraits convey emotions and feelings that are achieved by contrasting the photorealistic details of the figures with acrylic swaths of flat colors.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Stephen Towns

Though he started his career in painting, he began experimenting with fabric as another way of telling the stories of labor and slavery.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Bisa Butler

As a fiber artist, she’s created many story quilts that tell the tales of African Americans.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Collins Obijiaku

His technique involves tracing the contour of the subject’s face as if mapping every part of the figure’s presence.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Elizabeth Catlett

At the end of her life, she was beloved by many and instilled the belief in the power of art as a tool of social justice.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Greg Breda

Artist Greg Breda creates portraits that are grounded in reality but with a whimsicality and softness to them.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Jennifer Packer

Packer often asks the people in her life to be subjects in her works. By depicting them in paint, she’s creating a message that the people in her work deserve to be recognized and deserve to exist.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Jonathan Lyndon Chase

With distorted figures, Chase defies the binary gender structures in society, blending different characteristics within one singular body

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Devon Shimoyama

Within his works, many of which are self-portraits, he turns the Black queer body into a sensual, ethereal being, whose existence is desired by all.

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Sable Elyse Smith

The contextual backbone of her works lies in revealing the violence, both visible and invisible, in society

July 1, 2021Artist Spotlight: Christina Quarles

As a queer, biracial woman, Quarles reflects a sense of ambiguity in the flowing figures within her paintings

May 15, 2021Artist Spotlight: Amy Sherald

Set in front of a single bright colored background, Sherald would only paint her figures in shades of gray.

May 15, 2021Artist Spotlight: Abe Ogulende

There’s a child-like sense of play that comes from his use of colors and shapes.

May 10, 2021Amani Lewis: Substance That Lies Beneath The Surface

Beneath the chaotic lines lie the heart and soul of the work, the people of Baltimore themselves.

May 7, 2021Tadeas Podracky : Eindhoven's New “Enfant Prodige” 

Tadeas Podracky is an artist based between Eindhoven and Prague, and his graduation project is bringing light to the concept of “Metamorphosis”. Podracky believes that “design has rendered our environment impersonable”. Furniture are being massively and extensively produced, and to escape these impersonal environments, we tend to escape to virtual words. 

May 7, 2021David Chambers: Color At Rest

When the world was in turmoil, he wanted to create calm.

May 7, 2021Victor Ehikhamenor: An Innovative Contemporary Artist

Hailed as one of the most innovative artists from Africa, Victor Ehikhamenor creates stunning visual masterpieces inspired by his African roots.

May 5, 2021Marcus Jansen: "Painting Is The Most Intimate Act Of War"

With techniques both seen in graffiti art and abstract expressionist paintings, Jansen’s paintings are full of colors and textures.

May 5, 2021Barry Yusufu: Stunning Portraitures of Nigerians

As a Nigerian artist, Barry Yusufu has one main goal: to tell the stories of his people

May 5, 2021Nick Davis: Black Is Beautiful

After a series of seizures, artist Nick Davis found comfort in art and exploring the beauty of being Black.

May 5, 2021Amoako Boafo: Hand-painted Intimate Portraitures

Boafo’s distinctive style began developing once he ditched the brush and used his fingers instead. Boafo’s large, almost raw streaks of paints create a striking image.

May 4, 2021Laeila Adjovi: From Documentary to Art

Her series with fellow photographer Loïc Hoquet, titles Malaïka Dotou Sankofa, won the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor Grand Prix, the top prize for the Dakar Bienalle of Contemporary Art. It’s a stunning series that comments on how the media portrays Africa. The series is built with layers upon layers of symbolism finished with an impeccable aesthetic sheen. An androgynously-dressed model bears wings made of fabrics created by the Baye Fall Muslim religious community in Senegal. It is a poignant commentary on how the African body is often hidden or manipulated to fit the mold of Western society.

March 24, 2021Chiderah Bosah: Young Nigerian Painter With A Message

As a Nigerian, he draws inspiration from his surroundings, telling the stories of friends and families and their resilience and pride within this world

March 24, 2021Nja Mahdaoui: the choreographer of letters

His work is characterized by Arabic letters that come together in a colourful design. Because of the nice prints these designs consist out of his work fits perfectly on bigger objects, such as planes and architecture.

March 17, 2021Artist Profile : YANNIS DAVY GUIBINGA

Characteristic vividness of colors in sharp contrast to his dark-skinned models capture a spectator’s eye more than easily. Exactly that is what 25-year-old Yannis Davy Guibinga aims to emphasise through his lens: the revolutionary voice of the modern African continent, perspective shift on African ethnicities and their identity in post-colonial times.

March 17, 2021Tiff Massey: From Metalsmithing to Storytelling

Massey’s works are always rooted in the African American vernacular and their experiences. She draws inspiration from a variety of topics, like the hip hop scene or the beauty shops, commenting on racial stereotypes and class separation.

March 17, 2021Rewa: Otherworldly Stories of Women

Rewa has been creative most of her life. That creative tendency was often directed towards her financial career as a manager to solve issues and come up with marketing strategies. In 2016, needing a truly creative outlet, Rewa picked up a brush and started painting. She hasn’t looked back. In 2020, she sold thousands of dollars of her paintings in international markets.

March 17, 2021Mous Lamrabat : Redefining Cultural Identity

Mous said: "Two people kissing under a scarf has been read as being about homosexuality or two people meeting for the first time after a wedding…For me it's just nice to start the conversation and make you think because normality doesn't actually exist."

March 17, 2021Ngozi Schommers: The Way We Mask

For African women, hair and beauty is an integral part of their lives. Yet the current discussion of African hairstyles is often seen through a colonial, western civilization lens, without any thoughts on the pre-colonial times and what it actually means to African women. Nigerian-German artist Ngozi Schommers tackles this issue, and many others unique to African women, in her transcendent works.

March 16, 2021Rory Emmett and The Coloured Man

In reality the colourful pattern splattered on the entire body does the exact opposite, it takes away identity. It mystifies race and betters our understanding of whatever other political statement Emmett is exploring in a single piece. It is also a reflection of the word coloured which is the way in which African Natives of many racial origins refer to each other. 

February 25, 2021Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor: The politics of Fabric

She has since created many works that explore femininity and female empowerment and reflect her identity as a woman in today’s society.

February 25, 2021Ferrari Sheppard: Black Americana

Sheppard’s paintings, their compositions, their dress, and hair, are reminiscent of images from ‘50s America, yet in truth, Black people are rarely ever shown in media during that time.

February 25, 2021Grace Lynne Haynes : Black Femininity is Sublime

Grace portrays tender moments as the hands of her figures rest on swaths of delicately layered areas of patterning and puffy tufts of material that compose of clothing.

February 25, 2021Sungi Mlengeya: Aesthetic of Omission

A closer look reveals that these portraits are not what they seem to be. Mlengenya did not paint these African women wearing white dresses in front of a white background.

February 25, 2021Ronald Jackson : Portraits & Colors

Eyes that stare into the depths of your soul and demand that you acknowledge their existence. This is a recurring theme in comments about Ronald Jackson’s works.

February 25, 2021PJ Harper(Pig.Malion): Celebrating the diversity that exists within Blackness

For Harper his arthas been a way to translate the wide range of shades and body types that sitwithin the African Diaspora into art. His work therefore showcases the diversitythat exists within blackness.

February 25, 2021Ortega

Artgence takes a moment to look at the work of Ortega, a Colombian graphic designer turned photographer.

February 25, 2021Ervin A. Johnson

Today we feature artist Ervin A Johnson and his recently released series "#InHonor".

February 25, 2021Kwame Acheampong: The Spirit of Jamestown Accra

Ghanaian artist Kwame Acheampong perfectly captures the essence of his seaside town, Jamestown, Accra, with his camera. Using bold colors and composition, Acheampong records the spirit and soul of the people from his town. They’re both playful and hard workers, but also not entirely devoid of their own misgivings and troubles.

February 25, 2021Gosette Lubondo : Haunting pictures from Kinshasa

Imaginary Trip seems especially relevant in the year 2020 when most of the world is under lockdown and wishing they could travel elsewhere...

February 25, 2021Maxime Manga : Afrofuturism meets Pop Art

Bright, geometric shapes are cleverly intermeshed with photos of Black models. The words Pop Art and Afrofuturism come to mind. These are descriptions of Maxime Manga’s eye-catching creations.

February 25, 2021Rob Grad : From Music to Visual Arts

Rob Grad’s visual arts career didn’t start like most artists...

February 25, 2021Tonia Nneji : Bold colors from Lagos

The women depicted in her paintings are either draped or posed next to colorful, intricate fabric akin to those commonly found in Nigeria...

February 25, 2021Andrew Gray: Merging Fine Art With Graphic Design

There’s also a certain tension in his paintings. This tension can be from an unbreaking, confronting gaze from his subjects or a cleverly placed block of color precariously balanced in a field of color.

February 25, 2021Zandile Tshabalala: The True Meaning of Confidence

Her main aim in her pieces to show humanity within Black women against the more common narrative built by society today. Which is also why nature is very prominent in her paintings as well, alluding to representing the true essence of black women. She introduces a new perspective on Black women and who they are - confident and comfortable.