Contemporary Art Week!
Leo and Diane Dillon
Leo and Diane Dillon were one of the greatest illustration teams in the history of Fantasy Art. Books that have used their illustrations for cover or inside art include an edition of the Narnia books, Garth Nix’s Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, Her Stories and The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton, The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin, Aida by Leontyne Price, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese by Howard A. Norman, and many, many more.
There is a blog dedicated to archiving their work here.
As kids, we grew up with our imagination running wild though our minds. As least I did! I would spend hours bent over a book, flipping recklessly through pages for words and images to feed my daydreams. Kgabale illustrated work offers up little brown girl dreams that I would have loved to come across as a child. But even as an adult, I can still appreciate and admire the creativity behind each piece.
British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE explores colonialism and the intricate ways in which it has shaped, and continues to shape, cultural identities. He is well known for his life-size sculptural tableaux featuring staged, headless mannequins dressed in elaborate period garments.
In Scramble for Africa,2003, fourteen headless, mixed-race mannequins are seated at a sixteen-foot-long table. They symbolize the European figureheads who came together at the Berlin Conference, 1884–1885, to annex territories of trade in Africa for each of their countries. With regard to colonialism, the absence of heads implies loss of identity and, moreover, loss of humanity. Of this work, Shonibare explains, “I wanted to represent these European leaders as mindless in their hunger for what the Belgian King Leopold II called ‘a slice of this magnificent African cake.
[…] In these works, the materials and designs of the original clothing are replaced with batik, a colorful and ornately patterned fabric. The story of batik itself speaks to the notion of colonization and its effects: it originated in Indonesia; then, by way of imperial explorers, it was introduced to West Africa, where it was appropriated and now has its strongest associations; and indeed its greatest exporters are not in Africa at all, but are Dutch and British. By presenting his version of historical (often white, European) figures dressed in batik, Shonibare “Africanizes” the subjects, subversively pointing out a multitude of deep-rooted mythologies, falsehoods, and prejudices that complicate the dominant narrative of history and identity. - via themodern
The Violin Student, Paris, Stephen Seymour Thomas, 1891