Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Africa is blessed with many great talents and in the contemporary black art world, many such great African artists are making their marks.
The creativity that comes with these artists and their pieces, the the techniques and more importantly the messages and inclusion of a piece of Africa are just phenomenal!
You might know some of these talents and you might just be hearing of some of them for the first time. Here’s a curated list that honors 4 black contemporary artists we think you should be familiar with.
Lady Skollie is a feminist artist and activist who uses her works as a platform to talk about topics related to sex, gender, race, and identity politics.
In 2009, Lady Skollie earned a BA in art history and Dutch literature from the University of Cape Town. Her work has since been shown in galleries across South Africa, and in 2016, it was displayed at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. She was hired to create a new five Rand coin in 2019 to mark the democracy in South Africa's 25th year. She took the name Lady Skollie, which is an insulting Afrikaans word for a person of color, her birth name is Laura Windvogel. She uses crayons and ink to create watercolor paintings.
Lady Skollie makes fun of the patriarchal structures and gender-based violence with her works while igniting discussions about pleasure and consent. She draws inspiration for her vibrant, godlike images from the indigenous Khoisan people of southern Africa.
At a very young age, Chiderah Bosah Samuel became a self-taught contemporary visual artist. He began copying whatever visual figures he saw in books and comics with a pencil on paper. This young and haphazard passion for art finally developed into a full-fledged career for this Nigerian visual artist who is headquartered in Port-Harcourt.
Chiderah always wanted to share these shared experiences—the hardships and blessings—from his perspective because he grew up in Africa and was familiar with the common story that applies to the average black person.
He went from merely commissioning portraits at the beginning of his career to firmly establishing a purpose for his art in the year 2017 as a result of this long-standing goal.
GreatJoy Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean born figurative artist based in Johannesburg. His work frequently features portraits.
GreatJoy's works burst with expressive brushstrokes, pencil work, splashes of color, and dynamic movement, frequently portraying the artists' inner emotional world through these portraits rather than depicting an external reality.
The 1993-born artist has already taken part in a residency sponsored by the Southern African Foundation of Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) and is acquired by several private and corporate art collections, including the collection of well-known comedian and TV host Trevor Noah, ABSA Bank, South African Horizons, Envisionit Capital Solutions, and others.
Yinka Shonibare was born in London. He split his early years between England and Nigeria. His artwork reflects this blending of divergent cultural perspectives and histories.
The majority of his works are depicted in what is now popularly recognized as traditional African fabric. The art style originally from Indonesia, the coloring method known as batik was adopted by Dutch traders during colonization.
This custom was eventually introduced to West Africa by the Dutch. Yinka Shonibare will soon be awarded a renowned Art Icon title.