Thursday, December 11, 2008

More African-Jamaican similarities in art




Patricia Bryan identifies seven elements of African art that are visible in Jamaican art, she suggests two ways in which they were retained; retention by predisposition and intuition. She bases her case about intuition on Jung's offereing in Instinct and the Unconscious where he defines intuition as "an unconscious process [whose] result is the interruption into unconscious content". The individual draws upon the collective unconscious through which submerged cultural memories can resurface. In other words, as David Boxer puts it, intuition as demonstrated by artists such as Mallica (Kapo) Reynolds, William (Woody) Joseph and Everald Brown is that ability to reach "into the depths of the subconscious to rekindle century old traditions".





One of the seven elements of African art mentioned by Bryan is the emphasis placed on geometric shapes like the cylinder, the sphere, the cone. (Some art historians believe that when Cubists, primarily Picasso took up Cessanne's idea of treating nature as variations of these shapes, they possibly turned to African sculpture which predated Cessanne's idea.)











Another element of African art that is visible in Jamaican art is the emphasis on essential elelments such as the feet and the reproductive organs. Feet are usually firmly grounded and the breasts, abdomen and genetalia well displayed.



I will write some more about the connections between African and Jamaican art. But you can look out for some of those colourful Jamaican expressions that originated in Africa. Like "What a buffro buffro man!" Or "Mine me craw-craw you up!"








8 comments:

Stunner said...

Yes we definitely have similarities where carvings are concerned.

Daisy Soap Girl said...

You are so on the money. I was watching a show on TV last week where Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates & Princeton Professor Cornell West were both commenting on how African Art influenced Pablo Picasso's work from 1907 to 1909. This is an interesting topic you're exploring.

Jacqueline Smith said...

Stunner, I haven't been on the north coast in a while, or I would certainly have posted some pictures of carvings that are a feature of the craft stalls. I'm always tickled to death by the much exaggerated male equipment on display. There seems to be real a demand for them (aside from Stella after she'd got her groove back). Someone once told me that her boss bought one while on vacation here saying it would make an excellent conversation piece. The artists who carve them are possibly just supplying a demand, I don't know.

Daisy, wow, thanks for your input.

Fly Girl said...

African tings everywhere! The richness of African culture survives everything, whether slavery or cultural oppression. Picasso is famous for having ripped off African art, most art collectors know this but it doesn't keep him from being considered a genius and African art, simply primitive.

Catherine Rostein said...

In 1986 Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds travelled to Birmingham in United Kingdom. After much research I believe the photograph taken by Pogus Caesar is the only existing image documenting Kapo’s visit.

The photograph is a majestic study of this remarkable man.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75913636@N00/2144495540/

Anonymous said...

What an awesome sculptures, I really loved Jamaican culture. In fact my grandpa who likes to visit Viagra Online born there and he is happy for them.
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Miss Logie said...

Ye, Pogus Caesar's photo was taken when Kapo visited England.


http://www.oomgallery.net/details.asp?id=969&c=76747

Chandra Henry said...

Kapo in Birmingham, England!!!!