What does nudity in art mean? Does it always allude to a sensual motive or do artists intend to convey something more? Through the medium of painting do people view a representation of the naked body as artistic or sexual?
Sculpture is an artistic form made by one of four basic processes – carving, casting, modelling and constructing to yield a three-dimensional art piece.
The history of sculpture dates as far back as prehistoric art. Believed to be one of the earliest forms of art, sculpture has played many roles including immortalization, decoration and religious purposes, as a means for man to feel closer to a supreme being and even till date, sculpture fulfils a monumental purpose.
Contemporary African art is popularly understood as art made by artists in Africa or Africans in the diaspora in the post-colonial era. In examining the evolution of African art, it is imperative to look back to the early practising artists, whose works have stood through time and have been influential to many 21st century artists.
Our list is not at all exhaustive, nevertheless, it features African art masters who have not only contributed to the development of African art on the continent, but to the global art scene.
We have all seen the Nok sculptures and the Benin Bronze figures, and many of us have come to recognise African tapestries and hangings. These were the earliest forms of African crafts that came to be defined as art by colonial masters.
On this side of the continent however, these pieces were purely regarded as functional – either as symbolic representations of the gods, or as functional talismans linked to our lineage and our heritage. It was only with the Western appreciation of our local artefacts that we began to define these cultural staples as artistic pieces, capable of delighting the senses and creating pleasure when viewed.
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