Friday, February 27, 2009

Begin at Benin

The thoroughly amusing work of Mali photographer Malick Sibide is on display at the Wolfgang Roth Gallery in the Design District. Sibide's work is culturally anthropological in nature. As a recipient of the distinguished Hasselblad Award and Venice Biannale's Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement, Sibide's work offers an easy primer for the education of those not yet familiar with the captivating charm of all things African.

Malick's work alone is worth a visit but there is more amazing gems of Africana to enjoy.
This world-class show is a DON'T MISS.

The show features traditional bronzes from Benin. If you ever tried to smelt metal or extract bronze from buckets of earth then you know it ain't easy. The objects on display are sublimely beautiful and totally African. The style is distinct and undeniable, the craftsmanship superb.

Also of interest is a rich selection of the work by legendary Leni Riefenstahl the nazi film maker, chocolate lover, scuba diving granny. Her photos are also amazing images from an Africa that is probably forever lost in the modern world. She is the go-to gal for soft-erotic images of "jungle-bunnies" and "black-as-night-savages".

photo not related...
but nakedly very telling of the Germany of Riefensthal's youth.

It's a Lonnnnnng Way back to Berlin. Leni trolled the dark continent in search of talent to document the beauty in the eye of the beholder of the cradle of civilization.

There must have been allot of dust-shaking going on for the darling from deutschland.

She had to dive pretty deep to rinse away the crust of controversy and disdain piled at her work of nationalistic pride and journalistic lust for the dark continent.

photo not related, just kool.

And finally there is also some great stuff by my pal the incomparable african-american Peter Beard.


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