DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Posts tagged "african artists"

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

Xhosa Names & Meanings: The “ABC’s of Xhosa Names” by Thandiwe Tshabalala.

South African Illustrator and incredibly talented young creative Thandiwe Tshabalala recently sent me these awesome gifs highlighting and celebrating beautiful names in her mother tongue of Xhosa.

Here’s what she had to say about her series:

"Way back, when apartheid was taking place in South Africa, parents used to give their kids English names so that white people wouldn’t have to struggle pronouncing African names. Most people born during the times of apartheid were given names like: Knowledge, Margaret, Mavis (which has negative connotations), Innocentia, Innocent, Jeffrey, Gloria…eek..Let me just stop there. However, when black folks got their ‘freedom’ back, they went back to naming their children African/South African names."

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All Africa, All the time.

South African ultra-customiser, illustrator and graphic designer Atang Tshikare.

Longboard decks and sneakers customised by Bloemfontein-born South Africa graphic designer, illustrator, graffiti artist, customiser and founder of Zabalazaa, Atang Tshikare.

Atang has customised and illustrated on various mediums and items, from canvas boards and furniture, to sneakers and bicycles. 

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All Africa, All the time.

Nandipha Mntambo - “Praça de Touros" (2008).

Shot in the now abandoned Praça de Touros arena in Maputo where black Mozambicans once fought for the entertainment of the colonial Portuguese, Mntambo rehearses the steps and takes on the persona of a professional bullfighter - a role usually reserved for men.

Where no animal is present, Mntambo dons an animal hide on her back suggesting that in the absence of an actual bull, she is both the fighter and the victim, the hunter and the hunted, both the fear and the feared in a scenario where neither occupant had agency over their being in the ring and the consequence of what lay ahead. 

About the cowhide, Nandipha says, “I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland in 1982 but grew up in Johannesburg. She obtained a Masters in Fine Arts from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2007, and in 2011, she was chosen as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art .

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All Africa, All the time.

Unique furniture designs by Senegalese artist Babacar M’Bodj Niang.

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All Africa, All the time.

Art by Michael Soi.  

Documentary: “Lagos in the Red”.

Made by Danish filmmakers Lotte Løvholm, Karen Andersen & Nanna Nielsen, Lagos in the Red follows Nigerian performance artist Jelili Atiku. Atiku uses his body as a prop as a means of sensitizing people to the problems that Nigeria - both as a people and a country - face. 

This documentary particularly focuses on his performance ‘Red Light’ which he performs in Ejigbo, the neighborhood he was born and raised in. The color red in his performance symbolizes ‘life, violence, energy and the essence of human life”.

Once a fine arts student, Atiku is an art teacher in Lagos who stresses the importance of are as a symbolic tool, far above monetary value, used to communicate one’s emotions, preserve culture and history, as well as raising consciousness among people - especially in a country like Nigeria.

Related post: “Why don’t South Africans like performance art?

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All Africa, All the time.

The Egyptian Mona Lisa

I never get bored of people playing around with DaVinci’s, especially when non-Western artists provide their own take on the ever-mysterious painting that is the Mona Lisa.

Here, Egyptian illustrator FaTma WaGdi places herself wearing a hijab in her digital rendition of this 16th century portrait, poking fun at the expressionless original subject.

In this body of work titled Icons of a Metropolis, Nigerian photographer and multimedia artist Ade Adekola conceptualises the story of Nigerian migrants in foreign Western cities through Lagos archetypes - the oil scavenger, the cart pusher, the scrap merchant, the street vendor, the traffic policeman, and such, that all represent and capture Lagos life in some way.

Using these representations, Adekola juxtaposes them against the backgrounds of foreign cities in places frequented by Nigerian immigrants to Europe, such as England and Italy, creating imagery that isn’t far from the reality of many migrants who reach these shores.

Ousmane Sow, a 78-year-old sculptor from Senegal, has made history this year by becoming the first African ever to join France’s Academy of Fine Arts (Academie des Beaux-Arts Paris)

Renowned for his larger-than-life clay sculptures of various subjects ranging from various ethnic groups such as Nouba wrestlers, Peulh, Masai and Zulu peoples, to political figures such as anti-apartheid South African figure Nelson Mandela, revolutionary Haitian independence hero François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture and even French statesman Charles de Gaulle, Sow’s distinct and poignant style of work has led to him become one of the continent’s most well-known and sought after artists. 

EVENT: I SEE A DIFFERENT YOU at the Museum of African Design (MOAD), Johannesburg.

Opening on Thursday 14 November at 7:30 PM and running through 9 February, the group exhibition ‘Native Nostalgia' is an exploration of nostalgia in five African countries; Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Benin and South Africa.

africanartagenda:

Sam Nhlengethwa

Country: Republic of South Africa

Style: Photogravure/Lithography

Medium:Single colour chine collé lithograph

Fun Fact: Nhlengethwa seeks to give dignity to the frequently forgotten miners whose lives are spent unearthing the mineral wealth of South Africa.

Quote: “Throughout the years, all my pieces have dealt with the movement of people. I enjoy paying homage to people and places through my art”.

Paintings

1. Stop it Verwood

2. Tribute to Cecil Skotnes

3.Tribute to David Koloane

4. Tribute to Judith Mason

5.Tribute to Zwelethu Mthethwa

6. Tribute to Helen Sebidi

In this latest episode of Jason Nicco-Annan’s SIGNATURES series, Jay meets up with London-based Ghanaian super talented illustrator Kiaski Donkor whose diverse and multi-layered portfolio includes a self-created animated character Anansi - inspired by Ghanaian, specifically Ashanti and Akan, folklore anti-hero creature who is also known in other parts of West Africa and the diaspora as well.

Donkor further discusses the impact of his heritage, and the mixture of his Ghanaian and African identity, on his work, and what the positioning of being an African artist in the 21st century means to him.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Moroccan Amazigh artist Chama Mechtaly uses her artistic gift to channel and pay homage to her Jewish-Amazigh heritage, a part of her that was once suppressed by Morocco’s Arabization policies and sentiments that took ground following the country’s independence from France and Spain.

These oil paintings of Jewish-Amazigh women are often inspired from French colonial portraits and for Chama, this form of historical self-discovery not only helps her to retrace her ancestral identity, but has also served as a way for her to reposition herself as an African, rather than an Arab, and therefore part of the larger indigenous African landscape.

Read more about Chama.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

African-American Gothic, by artist Jamilla Okubo. (2013).

This painting was inspired by the iconic original Grant Wood American Gothic 1930s artwork that has been replicated and interpreted in numerous ways to depict couples of varying backgrounds and heritages.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists