DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "african artists"

typicalugandan:

"A world without him" by Ugandan artist: Ronex Ahimbisbwe.

Works by Onitsha-born Nigerian sculptor and painter Ben Enwonwu.

Enwonwu’s body of work showcases an incredibly diverse range of art works, spanning over various mediums. Enwonwu also has a crater on the planet Mercury named after him. 

Enwonwu - his father a sculptor, his mother a cloth merchant and his son, Oliver Enwonwu also an artist in his own right - was surrounded by art in various forms growing up and all through his life. Throughout his art career, he dedicated himself to redefining the meanings and conversation surrounding ‘African art’ in the global art world and was once quoted as saying:

“Art is not static…Art changes its form with the times…African art has always, even long before western influence, continued to evolve through change and adapt to new circumstances.”

After first studying art at government colleges in Nigeria, and temporary relocating to England to further his studies at Goldsmiths University and Oxford University, Enwonwu returned to Nigeria in 1939 were he began to teach art at schools in Umuahia and Benin City. In 1948, he became an art adviser to the Nigerian government but left the country again in 1950 to tour and lecture in the United States where carried on working as a freelance artist.

In 1966, Enwonwu became editor of Nigeria Magazine and was also a fellow of Lagos University between 1966–68. He once again worked for the Nigerian government, this time post-independence, as a cultural advisor between 1968–71. He was appointed the first professor of Fine Arts at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, from 1971 to 1975, and was also an art consultant to the International Secretariat, Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), Lagos, 1977.

Enwonwu is also well-known for his illustration of the cover of noted Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola’s novel The Brave African Huntress.

A pioneering force in the rhetoric surrounding the early Modern African Art movement of the 20th century, Enwonwu passed away in 1994. His work is displayed in the National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos and can also be viewed at the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) ‘Princes of Mali’.

The above work draws inspiration from poet Leopold Sedar Senghor’s 1945 work Femme Noire. While in France, Enwonwu interacted with Leopold Sedar Senghor and the Antillean poet Aime Cesaire whose ideology of Negritude, described an emergent sense of black pride.

The philosophy Negritude called for political action designed to overturn the colonial subjugation of continental and Diaspora Africans. Enwonwu adopted Senghor’s ideas about Pan - African cultural emancipation and became a close friend to the future statesman.

Senghor’s Femme Noire is an ode to the black woman, but most importantly, it is a song of praise to Senegal, his country. Its veneration of the image of the black woman as an embodiment of African ideals coincided with Enwonwu’s deployment of indigenous Igbo concepts of beauty and feminine power. For Enwonwu, Negritude did not necessarily imply adherence to specific forms but to ideas of black empowerment and emancipation, essentially the philosophical, political and aesthetic issues pertaining to Negritude, served as “the revitalization of African force”.

In this artwork, Enwonwu welds indigenous notions of power to political demands for black empowerment. The vibrancy and movement of the figures represents Enwonwu’s accordance with the inherent philosophies of the Negritude philosophy: emancipation and celebration of the Africans and their land. The vibrancy of colour which collides to yield new forms, permeates the social and cultural fabric of African societies. This work expresses the present state of neo-African culture, which includes Enwonwu’s heritage of indigenous Igbo and Nigerian art, his formal academic training and his transitional modernist practice, insights acquired from his analysis of European Modern art, and influences derived from his engagement with rhetoric of Senghor’s Negritude.

(via Bonhams)

Illustration by South African artist Atang Tshikare of Zabalzaa Designs.

HASSAN HAJJAJ ‘KESH ANGELS’ SERIES - BARBIE DOLL EDITION.

Because Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj knows we can’t get enough of his dynamic ‘Kesh Angels' series, he revisited and re-made the project using Barbie dolls, along with other brands and icons of Western culture that are not only recognizable worldwide, but have also come to shape global popular culture.

The London-based artist does, however, extend this narrative on post-colonialism and the impacts of globalisation by retaining certain aesthetic elements of both Arab and Moroccan culture in the manner of dress he’s chosen for the dolls, and attitudes these women (albeit plastic ones) convey.

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.