In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to give a shout out here to two of my favorite African American Artists...Radcliffe Bailey and Kara Walker. I learned about both of these fascinating artists in college.
I actually got the spectacular experience of meeting Mr. Radcliffe Bailey at one of his gallery openings in Atlanta, GA (where I timidly asked him about his opinions on the "black aesthetic" and excidetedly inquired about his personal ties to his artwork and his genius layering system). He said that he often gets attached to his work (as I am sure any artist could relate) and so he had to come up with a way to "know when to stop." He decided that after 7 layers, his paintings would be finished. Bailey often combines imagery and text from African and African American culture with paintings and sculptural assemblages.
Kara walker uses the simple contrast of black on white sillhouettes to make often controversial yet undeniably beautiful scenes that depict real and imaged happenings of the old slave days and plantation times. Awe inspriring I would say!