There’s a way art always captures your attention. It has you either focused on the subject or the background around it. Usually, it’s one way or the other. But in Ogunlede’s expressive art realm, both subjects (their faces at least) and the environment aren’t the loudest things in the (painting) room. It’s body language. His work is an embodiment of fun pastel acrylic colours and motifs that reminisce the fun world of pop art, juxtaposed by the subjects of his world featuring in black, a stark contrast that finds harmony in what should be chaos. His works appeal to unseen eyes, (the third eye if we’re being mystical) the ones we tend to use to draw out meanings from the paintings we see. Only in Ogunlede’s case, it’s quite obvious. But if this is one of you seeing is believing scenarios, or it doesn’t just make sense, then maybe you could check him out on the Gram. There’s another read up you might like to check out too.
Simone Leigh’s Pavilion
Multiple award-winning media artist (which involves sculpture, installations, video, performance, and social practice) Simone Leigh has had a highly anticipated project brewing for the past 2 years. She was working on the United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a place often regarded as the Olympics of the Art World. The pavilion, like most of the other works before now, houses her themes of honouring Black women (Black female subjectivity as she calls it), the reinterpretation of racist tropes to less oppressing ends. She also dabbles in history, as it appears very apparent in her works. Some of her biggest pieces ever made happen to feature in this pavilion too. And unlike other pavilions, hers comes with a thatched roof, which also happens to be part of the artwork! You’d also find an artwork with roots stemming all the way from Nigeria. She called it Satellite. There’s more to be amazed by in Leigh’s pavilion, and you can read and see the full experience here.
Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor
Okwiri Oduor gained the spotlight through Africa’s most rated short story prize, The Caine Prize, with her story My Father’s Head; a story detailing the reels of loss and nostalgia when death comes running through reality. On April 12, 2022, she publishes her debut novel, Things They Lost. A story about a girl named Ayosa in the small African town Mapeli, her riveting relationship between the spirit and human worlds, her mother and the complex webs of mothers and daughters, and daughters who become mothers. Join the omniscient Ayosa as she struggles with her gifts and motherly absences, and what fills the voids that family creates. Get a nice feel of Kenya in this beautifully mystic debut from Okwiri 📙. You can also read her interview with Guernica, where she talks about specific loneliness.
Black Taco Tuesday
Try saying Black Taco Tuesday and see if it sits well rolling off your tongue (try as hard as you can not to sing Migos’s Taco Tuesday). There are parts of América that are still chalking up racism, that much is obvious. But what your mind wouldn’t see coming, is how it actually boils down to even food matters (if you’re surprised, then you probably don’t rate food too, like me). In The Washington Post, there was an article about a food festival accused of ignoring Black History. The main character or hero of this article (if it was a story), is a certain Michael Kearney, a black community organizer and owner of the Black Food Friday website and Instagram page. He’s part of the key players making moves to address the predominant white programming that goes on at the Charleston Festival in South Carolina, ignoring the heavy contributions of black food creators that reels visitors to “Holy City” annually. Read it all; the slave history, the city and its once historical charm now gone metropolis, white supremacy and the statistics of the black chefs and their evolution in Charleston, on The Washington Post page.