Here in the UK, we celebrate Black History Month during October. First celebrated here in the UK in 1987, Black History Month is an international annual month that celebrates, recognises, and values the inspirational individuals and events from within the black and minority ethnic communities.
To mark the occasion, we are taking a look at young black artists’ artwork of today. They are making a huge contribution to the conservation of race and representation within contemporary art. We think these six amazing young black artists are really worth knowing about; they tackle the concept with huge curiosity and passion.
1) Matthew Thomas
Michael Thomas’ work mainly explores luxury goods and African American gender interactions. This piece is titled ‘Inheritance’. It is a digital drawing created in 2012 and can be found in the artist’s e-book ‘Love, Sex & Drunk-texts’. Born in 1980, his work tells a story and the vibrant colours he uses are truly beautiful.
You can see more of his work at www.matthewthomasart.com
2) Adam Pendleton
Born in 1984, Adam Pendleton uses small pieces of language to encourage dialogue between creative and political expression, using the conceptual manifesto he calls ‘Black Dada’. In New York Times Style Magazine, he explains that the concept is a way to talk about the future while talking about the past. His images represent the present moment. It is a very powerful piece, don’t you think?
You can find more of his work at www.adampendleton.net
3) Toyin Odutola
Odutolav is best known for her self portrait drawings. Born in 1985, her artwork consists of very detailed portraits that are created with ballpoint pen and ink on paper from photographs. Incredible, huh?! This 2013 piece is titled ‘All these garlands prove nothing XI’. She was featured on Forbes in its 2012 list of ‘30 notable individuals under 30‘ in the Art and Style category.
See more of her work at www.toyinojihodutola.com
4) Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle
Born in 1987, Hinkle incorporates historical research, cultural criticism and personal narrative to explore race and power structures and how they affect the formation of the self. This 2012 piece is named ‘Untitled (The Uninvited)’. Created with laser jet print on polyethylene film, acrylic paint, and India Ink, it is created with historical and contemporary narratives in mind, that raise questions concerning encounters with the black female body.
Born in 1977, Wiley incorporates the aesthetic motifs of traditional artistic portraiture with contemporary models of black men who he sees on the streets t0 explore issues of identity and masculinity. This piece from 2011 is titled ‘Kehinde Wiley’s Benediter Brkou (The World Stage: Israel)’. It has been created with oil and gold and silver enamel on canvas.
Discover more from Wiley at www.kehindewiley.com
6) Nina Chanel Abney
This painting by Abney captures the irritating information overload of the internet in bright colors and cartoon-like illustrations. The piece covers how race, sex, violence and ritual interact freely with celebrity gossip. Born in 1982, Abney’s work tackles complex issues through a combination of pop references and storytelling. This piece is titled “Law and Order” and has been created with Acrylic.
Find more work from Abney at www.www.ninachanel.com