What’s in a label – black art or art by black artists

Dancing Angel

Will the riddle ever be solved?  Do black artists produce black art (intended for a black audience) or is 'black art' simply art (intended for a wider audience) which is by black artists.  Confused already?  Well, imagine the artist's own confusion and burdens of defining his audience.

If we are to believe that art's source and inspiration is aesthetics, nature, culture, politics, woman and man's environment, and universal laws, then term "black art" might seem less relevant and appropriate today than in the past.  Notwithstanding Alain Locke's marching orders back in the 1920s or W.E.B Du Bois' belief that the black artist should be another propoganda tool in the fight for equality, one could argue that some 200 years after wealthy Baltimoreans collected works of Scipio Moorhead and Joshua Johnson, works of art by black artist should find an audience in the natural course of the market place. Many points of view are held on this issue, much of which are valid.  However, had hip-hop taken on the same, or allowed itself to be held hostage to the same paternalistic and patronizing beliefs of some in the 'black art' community, it would not be the most popular music / art form in America today and might have quite possibly remained a protest art form within ghetto and urban communities across the land.  The notion that black art (art by black artist) belongs solely to the black or should solely be intended for a black audience is ludicrous, benign, and a major factor and facilitator of such entrentched racism in a contemporary art scene which is almost entirely white and male.  See MARTHA SCHWENDENER's New York Times piece

Show for Black Artists (Even Those Disliking Label)


Welcome to Ealy Mays Artworks

Celebration of over 150 years of Black Literary and Artistic development in Paris

Here you will find the works of one of the most prolific African American artists. Based in Paris, France, this selection includes current masterpieces as well retrospectives from a body of over 30 years as an ethnic artist painting in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Your choice of paintings, prints, posters, postcards, puzzles, memorabilia, T-shirts, collectibles, accessories,and more, is only a click away. Read more

It is the spectator and not life, that really mirrors art”  The Picture of Dorian Gray …Oscar Wilde

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