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Contemporary Artists

African American Art Pictures

Hank Willis Thomas

The difference between African American art and time machines used to be that one requires a participant to go back in time, but Hank Willis Thomas has changed all that. Survivors of Bloody Sunday have a palpable memory of that violent day in Black history. They have explosive emotions in response to the terror that...

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Nick Cave Soundsuits

Nick Cave

Firmly set in his positive ideals, Nick Cave (b. 1959), born in Fulton, Missouri, is an artistic and creative rebel and leader. Cave’s works on the African diaspora and issues in the United States regarding Blacks are catalysts like the speeches Martin Luther King, Jr. gave, but visual. His subject matter is the immersion of African American culture in the States. This visual language is a not-so-secret code of symbols. Visual references and metaphors become some of his many tools to make contextual artwork. Cave’s contextual works force society to look into a mirror. They reference society and what it is and is becoming. These are all things that drive Cave creatively to express African American culture. Nick Cave is the creator of the popular and culturally important explosions called “soundsuits.” Subject matter, symbols, and cultural context can drive an artist’s creativity. Nick Cave, for example, uses subject matter and symbols to portray cultural differences between Africans and whites living in America.

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Contemporary Art Essays

Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Appropriation Destroys the Non-White

Consider this the dos and don’ts of cultural appropriation. This is a beginners guide to the differences between borrowing, cultural appropriation, and cultural misappropriation. Few are privy to the controversy behind President Obama’s 2008 campaign poster. The famous Hope (2008) image of President Obama isn’t a battle of candidates, but a battle surrounded by copyright laws and ethics.

Diffused Perspective

Diffused Perspective that Works in David Hockney Paintings

Pearblossom Hwy (1986), is trash! It looks like the trash that is thrown from litterbugs as they drive down the highway. Blue squares that are photographs fall from the sky to the horizon about one-third of the way down. Only a few Joshua trees and street signs jut up into the daytime from the horizon. The road in the center does not advance or approach from a background, rather it falls directly down from the sky to the bottom of the canvas. The trees look hacked to bits and the roadside garbage in the lower left looks sliced and diced by an angry housewife. It’s no Michelangelo. It’s no Raphael. It’s completely faceted trash.

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