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Carmen Oquendo-Villar

José Bedia was born in Havana, Cuba, where he pursued his formal artistic education at the Academia de Artes Plásticas San Alejandro and at the Instituto Superior de Arte. He left Cuba in 1991 and spent a brief time in Mexico before establishing himself in Miami in 1993. Bedia's work—drawings on paper; oil paintings on canvas; works in ink, acrylic, charcoal, oil crayons; and installations—derives most of its power from Cuba's African heritage, sometimes bringing to mind Kongo cosmograms (geometric designs which carry religious meanings) and Abakuá (Afro-Cuban all-male secret societies) ideographic writing. Texts in Spanish, Yoruba, or Bantu languages accompany many of his pieces. Despite the deep presence of African art Bedia's work, Cuban critic Gerardo Mosquera has labeled it postmodern Kongo art because it does not pretend to be a reenactment of original African art.

Bedia s adherence to local attitudes does not prevent him ...

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Katherine Smith

was born on 18 June 1968 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Jeanne Constant and Jean Alfred Sanon. Constant was raised by her mother, a seamstress who worked in a factory that made wedding dresses and beaded appliqué. From a young age, Constant helped her mother with small beaded piecework that she would bring home from work. When she was 14, she began working in the same factory with her mother. She quit this job six years later, shortly before the factory closed, over a wage dispute with management. Constant married Wilfred Charles. Together, they had five children.

After Constant left her job at the factory an artist friend encouraged her to try painting as a vocation She was inspired to try painting with bead as she describes her textile work Constant began sketching Catholic saints on canvas and then beading the images These images of saints are commonly recognized to also ...

Article

Natalia Majluf

better known as Pancho Fierro, one of the most influential artists of nineteenth-century Peru, was born in Lima on 5 October 1807. He was the illegitimate son of a slave, María del Carmen Fierro, and a Creole priest, Nicolás Mariano Rodríguez del Fierro y Robina, scion of a wealthy Lima family, who served as priest in the Indian parish of San Damián and taught at the University of San Marcos. Though his father does not seem to have protected him, his wider family did lend the child some level of support. The painter, in fact, had the rare privilege of being freed at birth, while his mother, a servant in the Rodríguez del Fierro household, would only gain manumission in 1826. His wife, Gervasia Rosa Cornejo Belzunce, whom he married in 1828 was also of Afro Peruvian descent At least three children are known to have been ...

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was born in Salvador, Bahia, on 2 December 1917. He was the son of Arsenio Santos, a tailor, and Maria Bibiana do Espirito Santo, an ialorixá (mother-of-saint in Candomblé) known as Mãe Senhora, and descended from the Asipa family, originally from Oyo and Ketu, in the West African Yoruba kingdom.

A respected religious leader, Master Didi achieved the following titles and positions in Salvador’s religious communities: “Kori Kowê Olukotun,” priest in Egun ancestor worship at the Ilê Olukotun Tuntun in 1925; “Oje Korikowê Olukotun,” priest in ancestor worship at the Ilê Agboulá in 1934; “Assogbá,” high priest of the cult of Obaluaê; “Baba l’Osanyin,” priest of the cult of Ossãe at the Ilê Axé Opo Afonjá in 1936; and “Alapini,” the highest level in the hierarchy of priests in Egun ancestor worship at the Ilê Axé Opo Afonjá in 1975. In 1980 in Salvador ...

Article

Kim Miller

Nigerian visual artist, was born Taiwo Olaniyi in Iyara, Nigeria, in 1944 His father was from Ibadan and his mother was from Ogidi the town in which Seven Seven was raised Twins Seven Seven s mother was a successful trader who took him as a child with her to visit markets in local and distant towns She was also head of the Imole society and held an important title in the Ogboni society a Yoruba society of respected elders who hold social and political power Seven Seven s father passed away when he was seven years old As an adult Seven Seven learned that his father s lineage came from a royal house in Ibadan and since then he has claimed the title of Prince Twins Seven Seven earned his unique name because he was the only surviving child of seven pairs of twins Seven Seven attended primary and ...