20 August 2012

Guest Contribution | Reflecting Culture in African Art

Just published, is this article that I contributed to Rise Africa as part of the August series on Art. For a taste, you can read the excerpt below. The complete article is available over at Rise Africa.

Reflecting Culture in Africa Art

Africa boasts a myriad of vibrant cultures, of which art is a key highlight. Defining the relationship between culture and art would require a complex, well-investigated explanation. Nonetheless, we can agree that these two social elements are interconnected and interdependent. As creative pan-Africanists, understanding the relationship between culture and art can enable us in our efforts to rebuild our continent. Digital art, film, and photography are three influential art mediums that are being used by artists to spark dialogue about African cultures.
Digital Art: The quantity and quality of the talent within the digital art field is remarkable. Two interesting works of art are the African Madonna by Studio Muti, and an Occupy Nigeria series by David Osagie. African Madonna is the product of a combination of elements from South African tribal culture and references of religious icons. David Osagie’s series of artwork was inspired shortly after Nigeria’s membership in the Occupy movement, which is reported to have begun soon after Nigerian political leaders defied reforms designed to distribute Nigeria’s oil rich economy to citizens. Both works are great examples of how art can be used to communicate social values and ideas.

Comments? Questions? How do you see the expression of culture in African Art today? How else can it be used for social progress? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

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