DuBuffet meets Klimt at a tribal party in Zambian artist Danny Chilyapa Lwando’s painting: that was my first impression of the painting, before I got to see more layers to it. I found Lwando while planning to write about Henry Tayali, the most prominent Zambian artist, of whom I will write later. Lwando had an exhibition at the Henry Tayali gallery last summer, and this is one of the works featured. I particularly like the way Lwando brings the tribal imagery into the 21st century by interlacing the patterned abstractions with contemporary items and showing that, essentially, while things may seem to change, they don’t, at their core, especially in what has to do with human relationship. It’s common to see African artists who had been reared on the Western art and lifestyle to experiment with adapting traditional arts to the occidental commonplace. Meanwhile, Lwando speaks with his imagery from a place that’s still close to the heartland, explaining his work through the context of what his tribal relations had told him. As a true conductor of world cultures should.
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