Thursday, July 31, 2014

Newark Museum - I Love It!

I was thrilled that the Arts of Africa section at the Newark Museum included contemporary art!  I had seen a lot of the work of Moroccan-born UK-based Hassan Hajjaj online.  His series 'Kesh Angels, on the biker culture of the women of Marrakesh, had made a big splash this year at a New York gallery. He's one of those international superstar artists who also does performance, fashion, interior design, and furniture. This was the first time I had an opportunity to see his work in person.  I somehow hadn't realized that his borders aren't flat.  The metal cans are intact in their cubby holes - fully 3-D objects.  Art on a monitor just isn't fully seeing.  (Better than not seeing it at all though I guess.)

Here's two more of his that weren't at Newark, just for fun because he is so cool:

I also enjoyed this "Sparkplug Lady" by Olu Amoda (born 1959, Nigeria;  lives and works in Nigeria).  Welded used sparkplug, screw driver, and steel.  Talk about found object art!

This textile commemorates Barak Obama's election and his first presidential visit to Ghana in 2009:

And of course, "Dry Season" by Nnenna Okore (born 1975, Nigeria; lives and works in Chicago). Handmade paper, jute rope, burlap and dye. "Okore transfigures urban detritus into art...A former student of the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, Okore belongs to an artistic movement concerned with the culture of recycling in her Nigerian homeland."  So beautiful and iconic.

One more reason I fell in love with the Newark Museum today.

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