The Emotional Landscape Of A Black Artist Described Through Extra-Vivid Portraits | Alternative Fruit
Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley has been using his talents to promote political messages for his whole career. When you have an incredible skill like his, it seems criminal to not use it to make positive progress. Thankfully, Arinze is receiving the press and attention he deserves for his fantastic work. This newest collection shows surreal portraits of black people which aim to explain how it feels to be a member of the global culture. We all know that black lives matter so these images help to convey the reasons behind why the message is still being repeated. When prejudice and intolerance still raise their heads in society, it is up to us to push the chair legs out from under their podium. If the world has a portion that feels confident to be openly racist then we have failed, where does their confidence arise from? Why are they not continually pressured to reform? Is it because we look to big brother to reform them for us?
Arinze Stanley thinks he has one answer to this multi-faced problem. His work really drives home the humanity behind black coloured skin. By observing these emotional and powerful images, which he made with graphite and charcoal pencils, anyone with a heart and an imagination can truly place themselves in the same emotional situation. No, us white folks will never truly know what it feels like to be black, how could we? We do know how it feels to be mistrusted, subordinated, exploited, and misunderstood, but in a different way, it's on a personal and not an international and historical level.
So we can take off our hats then give Arinze Stanley a warm thank you for helping us to understand, for putting the feelings into pictures so we can translate them for ourselves. You can find Arinze Stanley on Instagram. LA residents can go and see the work in person from October 3rd at the Corey Helford Gallery.
We have all been in an underpass and if we are lucky, we've seen a remarkable unofficial mural depicting the community edge. It always seems like a crime when some well-meaning local authority employs a person with our taxes to wipe away the beautiful art. Should have got a permission slip. I'm sure they're not hard to find and if they are, we should change that. The thing is, communal images really help to bring a sense of identity and togetherness for everyone who sees it on their daily routine. If they're of a high enough quality then they can only serve to increase the cultural and economic value of an area.
Dubbed “The Banksy of Stevenage”, Mark Tanti is best known for his artworks decorating the area behind ASDA on Monkswood Way. His marvellous and quirky image depicts themes taken from Disney's The Sword in the Stone and The Land Before Time. In fact, these are not the only images, Tanti is part of an ongoing scheme involving local artists that aims to make Stevenage a great place to cycle and walk.
In order to preserve the brilliant designs put down by the professionals, who let's face it are just amateurs who didn't quit, the works are being coated in transparent graffiti-proof paint. Mark has now set up his own graffiti art firm which is set to further normalise and institutionalise the art. So far Mark has been putting in his own time and money to fund the work, which ultimately benefits the whole community. It's not popular to ask residents to pay for things they didn't ask for when their bills are already so high however there has to be a bridge of finance that allows work like this to thrive in all communities.
What is the value in community art, if it remains in place for a generation or more? Surely it should be more than one person's uniquely savant passion.
Via The Stevenage Comet
What does it mean to be marginalised? Is it when your individual rights seem over-looked by the more populous culture? Is it when your stories are mis-told or forgotten in favour of those from other sources? Is it when your culture has been so deeply romanticised that no-one truly understands you any more? Perhaps it is all of these things, and many more.
Seneca Nation and Bear Clan member Dave Kimelberg wanted to do something about this for his own people. The Iroquois-language indigenous people of the Lake Ontario southern region are not forgotten. Kimelberg's K Art Gallery in Buffalo is owned and run for Native American contemporary artists. Of course, anyone from any culture can go and visit but the works on display are guaranteed to be from the hands of authentic Native Americans.
When it turned out that the plans were to be laid over with pandemic reaction, it did seem that things may not happen as hoped. Never-the-less, the K Art Gallery went up as scheduled and beat the odds against it. Sound familiar? It must be that survivor spirit conjured up over years of marginalisation.
What does Kimelberg have to do with arts though? After-all, he's the Chief Executive of the financial wing of the Seneca Nation. He doesn't work in the arts. That's where we are all wrong. Just because his professional history is not in the arts, as a human being and a genuine descendent of the original American people, there's no better qualification. Of course, he had help and the artists who's work is on display have skills they have learned. When these people work together, the congeniality of the tribe manifests.
The theme of this gallery is to awaken people to the modern face of Native America. When we think of the culture, we often think of cowboys and Indians, feather head-dresses and tomahawks. We've seen the films, we've read the history books, we've felt bad for what they endured, but do we know who they really are? This K Art Gallery idea really pushes home the truth about this culture and demonstrates that the Seneca People still live and work in the modern age.
Lockdown has us all trying new things, and getting good at the things we can already do. Whether it's baking delicious cakes or keeping the house tidy, we've all found ourselves looking for ways to spend the time. What about musicians? Imagine how much time our rising stars have had to hone their skills? Do you think in five to ten years we will have a new wave of virtuoso musical talent? I hope so. Never-the-less, one particular ten-year-old girl is a massive fan of Foo Fighter's front-man Dave Grohl. The life-time friend of the late Kurt Cobain has kept on going strong long since his first band ended abruptly. Now known for singing and playing guitar, many true fans know that Grohl is a multi-instrumentalist who can play everything he needs to release a great metal-rock album.
When a YouTube video of ten-year-old Nandi Bushell from the UK playing a perfect rendition of Everlong by Foo Fighters went viral, the composer was challenged to beat it. After not too much pressure from only about a hundred friends, the legendary rock-star felt obliged to comply. He returned the favour by playing a special version of Dead End Friends by Them Crooked Vultures. When Bushell saw this, she was of course over the moon to have got a response from her hero. And being who she is, she also couldn't help but respond with absolute authority. Nandi repeated the customised performance beat for beat and with a huge grin. Grohl of course conceded, and accepted graceful defeat.
This wasn't the end of it though. Dave Grohl promised to return, and so he did. When the next video emerged, it featured Dave on drums and lead vocals with his band, the Grohlettes. They were actually his daughters. What happened next blew Nandi away. He performed a song written about her and how she is a superhero. This homage to a ten-year-old drum prodigy really showed us that we have a true gentleman as our rock legend. It also gives us plenty of faith in the future of British music.
“This is so so so EPIC!!!! I think its the best song EVER, in the WORLD, EVER!!! Thank you so much Dave. You have raised the stakes to all instruments! I accept your next challenge! Thank you to the whole Grohl family! I love you all so much!”
I cant believe Mr. Grohl wrote a song about me!?! This is so so so #EPIC!! I think its the best song EVER, in the WORLD, EVER!!! Thank you so much Dave. You have raised the stakes to all instruments! I accept your next challenge! Thank you to the whole Grohl family! @foofighters pic.twitter.com/rWgTBwEtyb
Via LA Times
Racism is playing a large part in the day to day conversation. Thanks to the American media who have widely published incidents of racism, the whole world has a subject to enlist them into this global debate. What do we do about intolerance and fear of different skin colour or culture? We of course respect anything that isn't harmful, however a lot of stories depict opposing beliefs and social groups like skin colour as an outside intruder. An us and them dynamic is knitted through our culture, and it will be a lot of work to create new stories that incorporate all who do no harm as us.
Being black in Iran has its own set of difficulties. The closeness to Africa means that black people of all tone have been present in Iran since its early days. It's nothing new to see a black man or woman living in Iran. There still remains a culture of difference, though, as the collective recognise.
"We are part of the tapestry of what it means to be Iranian. If you look closely, you will see us."
You may wonder why making a point of being black will help build inclusive relationships, and you'd be right, it's the message they promote that really matters. Their message is one of enlightenment, it states the hidden obvious and reminds Iranians that black culture has always been there.
One piece on display is a multimedia work called “Can You See Us?”. It's made from snippets of African-Iranian voices. The whole work of the collective project is to entangle personal stories with the written history in order to create new and positive associations. With this inclusive accumulation of culture that's based on actual lives and actual events, the thread will no doubt spread into many other areas.
"We talk about how knowing your roots is a very empowering thing that we sometimes take for granted," Eskandarkhah says, "At times it's a luxury. As a Black person, I know a lot of guys that didn't have that luxury."
You can see and follow the Collective For Black Iranians on Twitter
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