Outstanding Contemporary African Artists Following Old Traditions Of Tribal Art

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Outstanding Contemporary African Artists Following Old Traditions Of Tribal Art Powered By Docstoc
					Africa is a huge continent with many different peoples, groups, cultures and tradition.
This diversity is seen even in the artistry that it presents to the world in the old african
tribal art. Modern African art has a very strong, storied and personal history. Their
beautiful and coveted African masks were created to honor their ancestors, to ensure a
healthy and plentiful crop, to celebrate, to mourn, to be used in initiation rituals. There
work was deliberately and purposefully created to meet the spiritual needs of the tribe.
They were infused with spirituality and served a functional purpose. These African
masks were used primarily to communicate, seek advice and please the ancestors. The
spirits and ancestors were even believed to have inhabited the African masks after
special and specific rituals were performed.

African Figures and fetishes, another popular artistry of this continent, were also
strongly connected with the supernatural, and were again created to commune with
the supernatural world. The artists of Africa, especially beginning in the early 20th
century, greatly inspired the art of the West, energizing great artists such as Pablo
Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and Modigliani. Their organized forms, spirituality,
abstraction and imagination, helped to free Western artists from their restraint.

Today, the torch has been passed to a generation of African contemporary artists,
artists such as Efiaimbelo, Fanizani Akuda, Frederic Bruly Bouabre Prince Twins
Seven-Seven, and Reinata Sadimba. These artists have striven and continue to strive
to uphold the excellence of the artistry of their forefathers. Classic African tribal art
had a mystical element. African tribal art pieces which were prized, were those who
had spiritual significance and those which were actually used for mystical purposes.
African tribal art techniques and their significance to the tribe and to the African
people, were passed from generation to generation and the function and purpose of the
art was much more important then its aestheticism. These pieces were actually used in
ceremonies, at funerals at initiations and at rites-of-passage ceremonies.

As times as changed and as African people have moved out of villages, into the cities
and as dependence on the tribe is now not as strong, these classic pieces of African
tribal art are still widely respected, and intertwined in some way in contemporary life
of the African. However, artists and artistry of later generations has evolved. The new
art is influenced by today, by the world and art is crafted just because and no longer
has to serve a spiritual or mystic purpose.

Below, we will discuss 3 contemporary and outstanding African artists. These artists
are introducing the world to the new Africa, its new artistry and forms. And while
sometimes ignored and ridiculed for not living up to the standards of the past. They
are seeking to create their own standard. Now you can find individuals and groups
who will mass produce cheap African tribal masks and figurines that many people
around the world still expect to come from Africa, but this is often for profit. Real
African artist are serious about their craft, and their work is of the utmost
craftsmanship and is inspired from someplace real.
1. Efiaimbelo: African contemporary artist Efiaimbelo (born 1925-2006, Androka,
Mahafaly Land, Madagascar) created most of his outstanding art in the South West
portion of Madagascar. Efiaimbelos work was inspired by his Mahafaly ancestory.
This group of people are known for their creation of funery steles or aloalos, which
are used to mark graves at the site of tombs. It is a craft which has been passed down
from father to son for many generations. These funery steles (aloalos) are crafted to
celebrate the memories of the deceased and also are tributes to particular eras of time.
Aloalos are placed or planted around the strucuture of the tomb in a the shape of a

Efiamibelo has expanded the artistry of the aloalos. He was one of the first artists to
paint aloalos exclusively for decorative appeal. He begin using acrylic colors and
adding new and excited images to the aloalos.

Efiamibelos work was also later influenced by the West and he subsequently
incorporated Western themes into his art work. Efiamibelo was a sophisticated
African artist, who did much to champion and move forward his genre.

2. Fanizani Akuda: African contemporary artist, Fanizani Akuda (born1932-, Zambia),
is one of the legends of first generation Zimbabwe sculpting. He also became a
member of the world renown Tengenege -Art-Community in the 1960s. His work
commonly features slit eyes, people and animals interacting together, happy people
and families. Akudas artistry has taken him all over the world, from Germany, the
United States to Australia plus many more countries. His work has been exhibited in
some of the finest museums in the world and he continues to be one of the most
respected artists in the world and a true master at his craft.

3. Frederic Bruly Bouabre: African contemporary artist Frederic Bruly Bouabres
(born 1923-. Zepregue, Cote dIvoire) lifes work became inspired from a vision he
experienced in 1948. In that vision, he saw in the heavens, seven colorful suns which
created a beautiful circle around their Mother sun. He that became Cheik Nadro, He
who does not forget. From that point on, Bouabre began to study and become
increasingly knowledable about such subjects as poetry, arts, tradition, religion and
philosophy. He became a great scholar and champion of his Bete people.

In the decade of the 1970s, Frederic Bruly Bouabre began using ball point pen and
crayons to create small, postcard-like drawings. He titled these drawings
Connaissance du Monde. Bouabre continues to be inspired by science, tradition,
dreams and signs. This quote by Bouabre, Now that we are recognized as artists, our
duty is to organize into a society, and in such a way to create a framework for
discussion and exchange among those who acquire and those who create, From that
could arise a felicitous world civilization, expresses his feelings of responsibility he
believes are attached to artists and their lives work.

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