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Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

When I first saw Cedric Smith’s paintings, they left me breathless.  This highly creative Savannah artist and photographer creates works that are reminiscent of old, classic billboards and signs, yet they literally burst with political and sociological meaning and allegory.

Cedric Smith with one of his artworks

Cedric Smith with one of his artworks

You see, in my opinion, America’s past with it’s black citizens hasn’t yet been healed in the hearts of those whose ancestors suffered underneath the lash, and in the hearts of those unnamed persons who participated in slavery in either a positive or negative way.  And even within more recent times, there is a rich, rich gumbo of African-American history still waiting to be mined.  I sense there are so many untold, hidden stories yet to be told that we need to hear, so many unknown ancestors lost forever, so many unshed tears held in so long they’ve become concrete . . there is so much more to be uncovered and revealed to the light of day via the creative expressions of art, music, dance, and the printed word.

As an artist I long to participate, I open my heart as much as I can to hopefully catch just a wisp of my ancestors’ voices, whispering, whispering to me . .

"Kool Aid" - 48" x 36"  ©Cedric Smith

"Kool Aid" - 48" x 36" ©Cedric Smith

Yet I feel that Cedric Smith, in his own unique way, is doing that. He’s offering to every one of us an opportunity to re-discover a moment in time in African-American history – what it felt like, what it smelled like and, most importantly, what it meant to those disenfranchised individuals who lived during those times.  Go there.

 "Be", 36" x 36", mixed medium on canvas  ©Cedric Smith

"Be", 36" x 36", mixed medium on canvas ©Cedric Smith

I invite you to visit Cedric Smith’s website and check out all of his stunning artwork.  And then, think about your ancestors, how they lived, what they endured and what legacy they left you.  What can you add to their legacy – as an artist, as a person of this culture and this world?  What will your legacy be?

You can also visit Cedric Smith’s blog, “Vintage Blood” here.

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess are protected under copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, contact WildGoddess to obtain her permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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Kara Walker, Artist

Kara Walker, Artist - digital art by WildGoddess ©2008


Kara Walker is a sometimes controversial artist who creates iconic, silhouetted figures, and projects them as full-scale wall installations. Her work evokes America’s dark involvement with slavery and the day-to-day experiences of those who suffered underneath the bitter lash.  Walker uses images from historical textbooks to depict African-American slaves in context of the Antebellum South. And because cut paper and silhouettes are becoming more and more popular among today’s artists, and as America embraces a black President, Walker’s work certainly takes on an even deeper resonance for our times.

Kara Walker, You Do, 1993-94. Cut Paper on canvas, 55 x 49 in. (140 x 124.5 cm). Collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton. Photography courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Kara Walker, You Do, 1993-94. Cut Paper on canvas, 55 x 49 in. (140 x 124.5 cm). Collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton. Photography courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Walker’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A 1997 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award, Walker was the United States representative to the 2002 São Paolo Bienal in Brazil.  She’s currently on the MFA faculty at Columbia University.

The PBS website, Art-21,  has a wonderfully comprehensive page on Kara Walker. You can also learn more about her here.

Kara Walker don’t play. Her artwork is innovative, stimulating and just a bit naughty, so if an opportunity ever presents itself to see her work in person, do so.

Below, she discusses one of her installations.

Note to whomever took the above photo: I would love to give credit where credit is due, so if it’s your photo I “decorated,” please let me know. Thanks!

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"Samsara" ©2006 WildGoddess

This digital art portrait above is of a former slave girl and the sadness and confusion in her eyes literally humbles me.

Who am I in her eyes?

The above work is part of a digital art series I did last year from vintage photos of American slaves from the Deep South. My intention was to reveal their inner beauty and strength despite their seeming conditions. These are photos of ancestors, whom I felt were long overdue to be honored in this way.

Slavery in all of its myriad forms still exists today behind closed doors in even some of the most “refined” societies.

When will we learn? When?
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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess is protected under by copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this web blog, contact me to obtain my permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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"Sarah-Mae" copyright ©2007 WildGoddess

"Sarah-Mae" copyright ©2007 WildGoddess

Re: Hurricane Katrina

In the midst of all of this devastation, desperation and horror, I’m asking myself, “Can I give of myself right now? And am I able to pray for someone else besides myself right here and right now?

“Can I find a way to love?”

I can and I will. And I know this for you, too.

Blessings.

American Red Cross
Operation Blessing
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund

For current information on what’s going on in the Gulf States, try these links:
Gulf States Disaster Updates
New Orleans post-Katrina Dissemination Wiki

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