Interpretation of a contemporary exhibition or piece of contemporary art
Interpretation of a contemporary exhibition or piece of contemporary art
Topic: What is an artist trying to achieve when they expand the art world?
Art has been in existence for so long now. However, it keeps on changing from time to time. The message passed keeps on changing depending on the period, purpose and the audience it addresses. Some artists have been unable to expand the art world by remaining conservative in their ideas. There are different ways through which an artist can expand artwork. An artist who achieves this is most times able to pass more than one message at a time from their piece of art (Kraus, 114).
Looking at Lynette Yiadom’s work, we see that she has focused on keeping her work simple and clear. Her artwork takes the form of drawing and painting. Taking a closer look at her work, it looks like photography. She is so keen on what she does. Those in her drawings look as though they readily posed for pictures. She captures moments that people are having in social places, people performing their different tasks or just going on with their normal routines. She calculates her glimpse.
When taking a general overview of her work, she has focused her artwork on Africans. Many a time Africans have felt that they have been left out; not only in the art industry but almost all aspects (Goddard, 89). An African in most cases has felt as though different people, from different sectors, are looking down at them. Having somebody to see the beauty in an African is not to be taken for granted. When somebody dedicates their thought, time, talent and passion to them, they feel appreciated.
What Lynette has done, is to take the message out to everyone that an African is beautiful. Most of her artwork involves drawings of Africans. She brings out her drawings of Africans leading normal lives and having joyful moments. There are a few people who still look down upon Africans. However, Lynette makes it clear that an African is happy in their skin and that they have a normal life that brings them happiness.
There is this one piece that catches the eye. The drawing consists of five young girls, around eleven years of age, participating in dance and wearing white dresses. It appears more like the girls are dancing to a folk song. There appears to be uniformity in the girls’ dance. The message brought out by the picture is embracing the African culture. It shows that the Africans still remember their roots.
Picture 1: 5 girls dancing
Unlike the common belief held by most people that most Africans are not united, the drawing portrays unity and teamwork. From the girls having a uniformed dance, it shows that the girls had practiced the dance in unison. If there were no team work with the girls, there would be no uniformity in the dance. Such works are very important and should be taken out. Sending out a message of love and unity; both to the African, who still live at war and for those who believe that Africans are not united. It shows that Africans have peace right from their cultural background.
Everybody can see that there is much to learn from the African culture; their way of life, their traditional practices, as well as their values. It is important for people to know the content of blacks beyond their skin. In our society, most times an African is brought out as one with hatred and inferior. If people focused on the abilities and the values of an African, they would appreciate them more. They would see there is much to learn and emulate from the black person.
By the girls wearing white, it shows that Lynette is not against the white culture. One way that she has expanded her artwork is by integrating the two cultures. The persons are black but in many of the pictures they are wearing white or have a white detail in their clothing. Lynette is trying to integrate the two cultures so that she treats both equally. She is not trying to showcase the African culture by undermining the white, but rather bringing the two together to show unity. The message from the integration of the two cultures is to bring harmony among a diverse community. Both the Blacks and the Whites should work together for the same good purpose.
There is another piece that catches the eye. The picture consists of four officially dressed men seated at one table while sharing a cup of tea/coffee. One of the men is holding some pieces of paper in his hand. The one seated next to him also appears to be looking or reading from the same document held by the first man. The other two men are looking directly at the man holding the documents. The piece of art carries several messages all at once.
Picture 2: The four African men
The first message that has been brought out is that of sharing. Africans have been known to be generous. For instance, when people visit Africa, where most of the people are black, they often express how much the Africans are generous. They are very welcoming in their countries as well as in their homes. The piece, therefore, is expressing the Africans as being generous and learning to share. The art of sharing is important for individuals to learn. The piece also brings out the message of unity, again from some of the men in the drawing wearing white shirts, there are also white cups on the table as well as the documents read are on white pieces of paper.
The second message expressed is that of Africans having the liberty to do white color jobs. In the past, most Africans worked as slaves. If they were lucky to get salaries, their wages were little just enough to meet the family’s needs. Their financial status was clear from their dressing since they mostly wore rugs. When the black men dress in well-cut suits, it shows their financial position. It is clear that the jobs they involve themselves in, whether employed or business, they get enough finances to help them buy their selves better and neat clothes.
Among her other pieces, there is another piece that shows the African talent. It shows that Africans have not been left behind by the rest of the races. The piece is of a lady with a well-toned body. The lady appears to be wearing some sports gear and looks as though she is doing some gymnastics. It shows that Africans also have talent. For instances, several sports competitions are held all over the world. The sports give an equal chance, and Africans are not left out. It shows that times have changed. It shows progress. Times have changed from when Africans were considered lesser persons and were offered fewer chances compared to the whites.
Picture 3: Lady with an athletic body
There is much beauty in Lynette’s work. The beauty is not only the physical appearance of the painting. There is more to that. The messages that the pieces carry is quite encouraging (Robertson, and Craig, 18). Looking back in time, most of the works that we saw from the past of Blacks are those of slavery. Looking at their dressing, Africans always wore rugs. They lived in absolute poverty. However looking at the works of Lynette, she views Africans differently. They are well dressed, some of them even wearing stylishly. Her work also shows the African dressing, which they mostly use in their traditional or cultural ceremonies.
The pieces of art from Lynette’s gallery lead one to learn more about the African culture. In the pieces, some of the people appear to have very simple lives. They also have huge smiles on their faces. It is not that the Africans don’t have problems. They experience very many problems, some of which see from the internet and news. However, their positive attitude towards life keeps them going.
How her artwork has expanded
Lynette’s work has expanded in two different ways. The first is on showing how an Africa n’s life has changed over the past years. In the past, the artwork was to show the inferiority of an African and the superiority of the white. When it was not about the superiority or inferiority, it was about how an African needed saving; being saved from their low life, from poverty, from being undermined by other races among other different kinds of suffering.
As for Lynette, her work is simple and straight to the point. It portrays how an African has managed to get through the different difficulties they have faced over time. Showing how he is comfortable in his skin, being free from any oppression (Robertson, and Craig, 13). This is something that most artists have not yet achieved. They are still focusing on an African`s weakness rather than their strengths. Some artists have criticized her work by saying that her work favors Africans only and markets Africa, but they fail to look at the bigger picture at what that work does to both the white and black (“African-American Art Captivates Both Black and White Collectors, 1”).
The second way in which she has managed to expand her work is by bringing together two different races and cultures; the black and the white people have had differences for so long. In showing how the black person has risen from his past, she has not tried to put down the whites, but she has integrated the two equally. It is not easy to bring out the two cultures. She has had that consideration in her work. The white people don’t find her as a threat, but as a peace ambassador who is trying to help the white and black person make peace. Her works are a huge success.
“African-American Art Captivates Both Black and White Collectors.(Features)(Arts & Leisure).” Christian Science Monitor 22 June 2001. Print.
Goddard, Lynette. “Contemporary Black British Playwrights.” (2015). Print.
Kraus, Chris. Where Art Belongs. Los Angeles, Calif.: Semiotext(e) ;, 2011. Print.
Robertson, Jean, and Craig McDaniel. Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.