Sunday, April 22, 2007

Angola in art

I haven’t seen Angola represented in a lot of art or photography. Tourist visas have only been being issued in the country for around a year, so there have been few foreign photographers to take pictures or make paintings, and few foreign tourists to buy them. There is, of course, artwork made in the villages, especially by teenagers, but these rarely leave the villages and don’t reach a wider audience, of either Angolans or foreigners.

There is one craft market in Luanda, largely populated by traders from Congo. Many speak mainly French, and although a lot of their art is interesting, at the end of the day it’s Congolese, not Angolan.

Bumping into DaSilva's work has been like finding a missing link, because although the artist is Namibian-born his parents are Angolan, and this really shows – this is the Angola I know – this is the way I imagine Angola would explode on a canvas. Perhaps I have no right to judge, since I am only a visitor to the country – however long the stay was – and I’d love for more Angolans to see this work and find out what they think.

It might be presumptuous of me, but I think they’d like it.

Turbo Tagger

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