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Huon Wardle

was born in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, on 14 May 1911. He was one of a small number of artistic pioneers whose aim, starting in the 1930s, was to build a distinctively Jamaican tradition in the visual arts. A cartoonist from an early age, Abrahams developed a highly idiosyncratic painterly style and iconography. In his works he employed cubist and expressionist techniques, a prophetic Christian sensibility, and a love of caricature to re-envision everyday Jamaican social life.

Carl Abrahams’s father was a Jewish émigré from Austria-Hungary. An engineer, from 1906 he began to build some of the island s first motorcars In interviews Abrahams indicates that his mother was the privileged but illegitimate child of a white English military officer and a black Jamaican woman Hence by birth Abrahams joined what at that time was referred to as the colored or brown middle class in a colonial ...

Article

Cristina Ferreira Pinto-Bailey

was born on 14 April 1857 in São Luís, capital of the northern Brazilian province of Maranhão. Born to David Gonçalves de Azevedo, Portugal’s vice consul in Brazil, and Emília Amália Pinto de Magalhães (also Portuguese), Aluísio Tancredo Gonçalves was the younger brother of the famous playwright Artur Azevedo (1855–1908). Azevedo’s parents were not legally married, as his mother had been married beforehand to a Portuguese businessman. It was an arranged marriage that ended when Magalhães left her violent husband, causing social scandal.

Growing up in São Luís, Azevedo developed an early interest in painting and drawing. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1876 to study at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes National Academy of Fine Arts In the capital of the Brazilian Empire he began working as an illustrator and caricaturist for several newspapers As many critics have pointed out Azevedo s craft as ...

Article

Christopher Campbell

London‐born poet, printer, visionary, and ‘prophet against empire’. Over the course of his lifetime Blake confronted the horrors of slavery through his literary and pictorial art. He was able both to counter pro‐slavery propaganda and to complicate typical abolitionist verse and sentiment with a profound and unique exploration of the effects of enslavement and the varied processes of empire.

Blake's poem ‘The Little Black Boy’ from Songs of Innocence (1789 examines the mind forg d manacles of racial constructions in the minds of individuals both in the poem itself in the form of the black child and his white counterpart and also in the minds of those involved in the political dispute over abolition Seeming to explain a desire for racial acceptance and spiritual purity through assimilation into white British society and seeming also to be endorsing conventional assumptions of white racial superiority the poem ...

Article

María de Lourdes Ghidoli

who specialized in portraiture. Blanco de Aguirre received artistic training in Florence (Italy) thanks to a grant from the presidential administration of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1868–1874). Although nineteenth-century publications highlighted his work as an oil painter, the three pieces that Blanco de Aguirre is best known for are pencil drawings: Retrato de José Mármol (1871), El negro Falucho (1889), and Heroísmo del negro Falucho (1889). In 1888 Blanco de Aguirre wrote a book (Colección de Artículos Literarios) that authorship offers ample information on Blanco de Aguirre’s childhood and adolescence.

Blanco de Aguirre was born in a rural part of San José Uruguay in the 1850s to a humble family of farmers According to Blanco de Aguirre himself because of his interest in studying and limited access to formal education his family placed him under the tutelage of Colonel Manuel Fernández ...

Article

Christopher Tiné

Not much is known about Frédéric-Bruly Bouabré’s early life. He was raised in the Daloa department of western Côte d’Ivoire, and the local Kru culture and community were an important part of his childhood. In 1948, when Bouabré was twenty-four, the as yet undistinguished young man had a celestial vision in Dakar. According to Bouabré, the heavens opened themselves to him and he understood that he was to use his artistic talent to maintain and share the culture of his people, which is rooted in nature and folklore. After his vision Bouabré considered himself reborn as Cheik Nadro, or “he who does not forget,” and has devoted his life to his drawing and other creative projects.

Bouabré s drawings often form a series They are generally small and rectangular and have a border of narrative text around them In this regard many of his drawings strongly ...

Article

Theodore Cohen

was born on 22 November 1904 in Mexico City to José Covarrubias and Elena Duclaud. José was a civil engineer and government official who helped provide Miguel with access to Mexico’s cultural and intellectual elite. Miguel was born into a family with Spanish, French, and Mexican—but no African—ancestry. He had an elite education, attending the Horace Mann School and the Alberto Correo School in Mexico City. He married the dancer Rosa Rolando (née Rose Cowan, 1898–1870) on 24 April 1930. Although he never officially divorced her, he also married Rocío Sagaón in 1955.

Covarrubias started to draw caricatures as a child. Mexico City newspapers and cultural magazines began to publish them in 1920. With a little support from the Mexican state, Covarrubias left for New York City in the summer of 1923 Mexico s foremost cultural promoter in the United States José Juan Tablada helped ...

Article

Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton

Zambianartist, illustrator, wildlife conservationist, and author, was born on 23 September 1930 in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia, present-day Zambia. Ellison's husband, Anthony Ellison (deceased) was director of Zambia State Lottery Board. The couple had no children (Polunin and Curme 1997, p. 93; The Post, 4 November 2004). Ellison spent her childhood with her parents among the Ila people in the Mumbwa and Namwala district. Ellison's childhood in rural Zambia influenced her paintings. She attended school in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Britain where she trained as an artist in private studios. In 1948 she was one of the founding members of the Art Society in Lusaka, Zambia (Setti 2000, pp. 22–30). From 1960 to 1974 Ellison was head of the graphic art and exhibition section and chief graphic artist in the Northern Rhodesia Information Services; after independence in 1964 the organization was renamed ...

Article

Hanétha Vété-Congolo

was born Yva de Montaigne in 1912 in Trinité, Martinique, the daughter of road engineer Paul de Montaigne, himself the son of a béké man and a woman of African descent, and Eponine Vachier, a mulatto born to a French father and a mulatta mother.

She enjoyed the relative privileges of the island s mulatto class and was schooled at the Pensionnat Colonial of Fort de France Her father worked for Martinique s Department of Civil Engineering first in Trinité and then in Fort de France A Freemason he was the Worshipful Master at the local lodge One of ten children with a father who was a well respected official and member of the community Léro had mostly happy memories of her childhood On the other hand she was shocked by the poverty and misery she observed of peasant life at the time which she experienced firsthand when the family ...

Article

Alanna Lockward

was born into a middle-class family in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1965, in the midst of the civil war referred to locally as either “La guerra de abril” (the April War) or “La revolución del ’65” (the 1965 Revolution). His mother was a lawyer, as was his only brother, and his father was a pharmaceutical salesman. Recio’s family history was enmeshed in the island’s legacies of brutal dictatorships, especially that of Rafael Trujillo from the 1930s to the 1960s. Recio grew up visiting his father, in mental hospitals, where, like thousands of other victims of that time, he endured torture. This experience translated into the son’s interest in psychiatry, which is palpable in the combination of social metaphors and hallucinatory imagery characteristic of his work.

Recio was a precocious child artist who received his first training at the private school headed by the artist Nidia Siera At only ...

Article

Gérald Alexis

was born in Jacmel, Haiti, on 24 February 1924. Despite the opposition of her family, she embarked on a career in the arts soon after finishing secondary school. Her determination inspired one of her brothers to accompany her to Port-au-Prince, where in 1945 she joined the Centre d’Art, inaugurated a year before. The school awarded Turnier a full scholarship based on her potential. At the Centre, she entered a new world where she collaborated with fellow artists, writers, and poets.

In 1947, a scholarship from the Art Students League of New York gave Turnier a greater chance to broaden her horizons. She then moved to Paris, in 1951, where she married the French artist Eugenio Capri and had two daughters. In the late 1970s, she returned to and settled in Haiti.

Turnier was heavily influenced by indigenous traditions and often focused on local subject matter as well ...