Way back in the day, I used to have an online art gallery. Nothing fancy, just buying and selling art on and offline through my web shop. I met a lot of people and enlarged my artistic view of the world. I did my own thing and gradually even made a modest living out of it. But after a few years, I just decided to quit. My business just wasn’t big enough to cope with all the Saatchi’s in the world and at the time, I just could not dedicate any more time to it than I already did. Yet to this day I still have a soft spot for art. A beautiful work of art on the wall just brightens my mood. Especially African and or African American art by, or portraying black people. The art doesn’t necessarily has to be made by a black artist, but for me, it has to at least positively portrait us, so I’ll be able to consciously relate to it. I’ve always been aware of black artists and of artists who make beautiful African American Art. Nowadays, using Pinterest, luckily we can enjoy as much of the original artwork digitally as we see fit. Check out the following artists who’ve created some jaw dropping artwork that will rock your world!
Trudie Canwood-Kruger (Arnhem, The Netherlands, 1961) is a professional Dutch artist. She makes colorful and fun to look at art, that gives you that tropical feel. Not only in color but also in terms of people and situations. Notice how often the artists paints ladies with lush forms in her work? After high school Trudie studied textile design but didn’t do much with it professionally. Quite recent, in 2003, after spending a month with her family in Curacao, she started painting. Much of her work, radiant and in bright colors, has an unmistakable Caribbean atmosphere to it. Canwood exhibits worldwide regularly. In the past she has had exhibitions in Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Nevis, New York, Denmark, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague etc. In 2011 her first solo exhibition (Bonaire) completely sold out. Her work is included in several books and art calendars, and is also used for custom articles such as postcards, cups, placemats and also on packagings.
An extremely talented black artist that I’ve noticed is Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley. He has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendant of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others, Wiley, engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men found throughout the world. According to Vogue Magazine, he has teamed up with Italian top fashion designer Riccardo Tisci for an exhibition.
What immediately drags me into his work, is the mixture of the “old” inherited by the “new”. In his paintings the models, dressed in their everyday clothing most of which are based on the notion of far-reaching Western ideals of style, are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings. You can see it in this work by the name Dacia Carter, from 2012. It was part of his “An Economy of Grace,” a series of African-American female portraits inspired by historical paintings.
The talented Sara Golish is an emerging visual artist, born in Windsor, Ontario. If you’re an internet freak, like me, you must have seen her work pass you by somewhere online. Since putting pencil to paper as a toddler, she knew her passion was to become an Artist. After excelling in the Windsor Center for the Creative Arts during high school, she moved to Toronto in hopes of seeking a more challenging artistic environment at an art school. There she received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree as a Drawing & Painting major in 2008, acquiring the Eric Freifeld Award for “Proficiency in draughtsmanship”.
Sara has also completed extensive work as a decorative painter, which has included designing and painting murals, bas-relief, gilding and faux finishes in traditional and contemporary styles. She has worked on high-end residential, corporate and retail interior design projects for Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sarasota and Barbados. Sara has also sub-contracted work for the those such as Brian Gluckstein, Chapman Design Group, Yabu Pushelberg, Douglas Design, Munge Leung, and Andrew Ness to name a few. Presently she works as a freelance artist based in Toronto, specializing in figurative drawing and painting in the styles of Magical Realism and Afrofuturism.
Who doesn’t know the beautiful and rich artworks of Delford Terry? Maybe you won’t know him directly by his real name, Delford T. Wilson, but certainly when you’ve seen his art online. He sees himself as a figurative artist who works primarily in watercolour. His subjects are derived largely from Caribbean and African-Americans cultures. “My hope is to communicate to the viewer a sense of wonder and to reveal an unknown observation to them through extreme realism in a celebratory manner. I strive to capture the emotional depth of my friends and family and paint them as I see them, their hopes, and memories.” The artist meantiones on his website that the ddocumenting of his friends and family fills him with awe and wonder of not just the subject, but the process. I recognize his artwork from afar, as he has a very recognizable style. It was soon well known that his works were received in a fabulous manner and are now pinpointed globally through social media.
As you can see there is a wide range of artists portraying African and or African American art. We have only covered a very petite section of the huge amount of black artists worldwide. We yet have for example to discuss the legendary Kara Walker, Frank Morrison, Maya Freelon Asante and Nina Chanel Abney. Fabulously talended black male and female artists. What I want to know from you is; What black artists do you have hanging on your wall? Do you have any black or African American art at home or at work, and if so… created by whom? Do comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you.