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Painting, Oil on Canvas
Size: 118.1 W x 78.7 H x 3.9 D in
For centuries the plight of the black man has been that of a constant battling against forces seeking to devalue his stature as an equal within the human realm. Though past are the brute eras of slavery and colonialism, he yet faces several injustices lingered on from prior segregatory measures set up to his disfavor and still has to put up with seemingly ceaseless waves of racial prejudice based on the color of his skin. Despite all odds, this man has fought his way up from all corners of the earth and not gave in to despair. In light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I chose the United States as the most fit setting to paint this story. Not only does the US record the lengthiest struggle against black oppression but it is here also that black consciousness was emancipated by activists like Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther and Malcolm X. The black folk of this country bore up with 250 years of slavery, the Jim Crowe laws, atrocities of Civil rights movement and continue to battle against a flawed justice system that underweights the most basic rights and freedoms of Black America, the right to life. At the base of the painting is a depiction of the slave era, a people down trodden but with a spirit uncrushed. Their determination to live as free men lays highlighted by a raised hand from one of the slave figures. This hand reaches out from the dreary bases beneath into the slightly colored patches of the painting, wherein is portrayed a time where minimal rights were attained post the abolition. The women figures above the slave depiction bring forth an Afrocentric tint, creatively kissing the black man's painstaking plight from the two poles of the world. Here the North (Black America under the Jim Crowe laws) and the South (Black South Africa under Apartheid laws), share the same similitude of a subjection under the cruel segregatory laws in their respective lands, in just about similar time periods. In the top right corner are the representational objectifications of the black spirit towards his quest for freedom. The spirit figures pursue an ascendancy towards the attainment of a life lived out within the much brighter patches of humane existence. The crimson silk entails a tremendous shedding of blood at the hands of his adversary along this often bloody march. The spirit figures wield to themselves, an open vintage clock and an hour glass that is quickly running down. These symbolize high time for meaningful transition and imply an urgency to the equality motion, its need to be reimagined in a new light, not as an enticing fallacy penned on paper but a way of life equally evidenced in all people's lives. To the top left lies a large scale mother figure dressed up in American Flag sweatpants carrying a baby on her laps. She epitomizes a deeply held longing for a much more safer and peaceable world for black generations to come, in a world which has long criminalized their very existence. This piece is both a celebration of gallant strides made by our forerunners in the realization of a racial equality and also a protest against retrogressive elements that withstand a cause overdue. Our world can do better.
Painting:Oil on Canvas
Size:118.1 W x 78.7 H x 3.9 D in
Ready to Hang:No
GreatJoy Ndlovu is a full-time visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He went on to study Art at Cyrene Mission in the Southern part of Matabeleland region in Zimbabwe. He has been enjoying the summits of art world prominence within South Africa and an immense recognition of his world class talent across.continents , exhibiting in local and international art fairs and galleries . Greatjoy retains an ever – growing number of faithful collectors worldwide . His current body of work renders more of its focus on the portrayal of masculinity, identity and the abstract representation of the nature of thought conceptions, particularly in light of mindset generation as expressed in his 2019 series “Conversations of a Man”. His principal theme circumnavigates around merging motion and emotion to arouse mental images wrapped in synchrony to his style of art. GreatJoy’s style notably kisses expressionistic and representationalistic ideas with figurative drawings, while retaining an enthralling tinge of abstraction that frequently lurks in his works. Included also in his works are mind piercing forms of portraiture which seek to decipher internal truths and meanings with such lightness of detail, rather than merely beaming goodly but shallow superficial semblances. GreatJoy’s work starts from light-hearted, experimental sketches that develop in to large scale detailed works or even an entire series without losing an experimental element that so characterizes his work. His work is strongly influenced by challenges incurred by men in society. It aims to table talk and to inspire men and the greater society to raise and tackle these challenges with an elevated degree of seriousness, and it also presses more on the need to help socialize and educate our young boys differently. These notions are carved out from personal experiences lived and are contained and well referenced in his autobiographical art book, “The Path to GreatJoy”. The book has come to resonate with many art enthusiasts around the globe as an engrossing read for keeps for passionate art lovers. GreatJoy’s canvas stands a testator of his exploratory genius with diverse material, evidenced in the manner and the piecing up of his riveting techniques, as revealed and shed across much of his art series.
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