My favorite kind of art is where figurative imagery, traditional patterns and high-tech all come together. Which is why I love Aida Muluneh, an exciting artist from Ethiopia who has been all the rage in the US galleries in the past years. She blends self-portraits with Ethiopian folk patterns and backdrops and African body embellishments, while making gorgeous photographic portraits. As of recently, she also digitally manipulates them, to create a sort of space goddess goodness.
Aida Muluneh makes me think of Shuri, my favorite character in Black Panther, in a more cerebral, abstract iteration. Not that a remarkable artist needs to be granted additional agency by a link to pop culture. It’s just that her work is futuristic but also rooted in folklore, and I do strongly believe that Ethiopia is the real Wakanda.