Michael Armitage artist and style
Inspired by a certain type of tourist-tat painting familiar to East Africa, Michael Armitage's landscapes explore how contemporary African art is changing, from the market place to the museum. Rather than work on canvas or board, Armitage prefers Lubugo, a traditional cloth made in Uganda from bark which is exported to Europe. Armitage resists spelling out the significance of each work; some references are very personal and others comment on the extreme opinions and ever-present violence in Kenya. He uses cultural cliché, primitive imagery and modernist forms to create striking visual spaces that unravel the power play between Africa and the West.
White Cube Bermondsey exhibition
Pay a visit to the White Cube gallery in south London to see a new series of works by Michael Armitage, where African legends, internet chat and media stories meet in haunting images like Mpeketoni (2015), based on the terrorist attack by Somali militants last year in Kenya. Trauma is apparent in all of Armitage's work, which courageously deals with horrific news stories and even the plane crash he had with his father and uncle as a child in the Kenyan bush, pictured in Accident (2015). Political power and struggle rears its head in And so it is (2015), where a figure prepares to speak behind a pair of microphones. The male dominance of Kenyan society is also evident as Armitage pictures a naked woman reclining on the ground, surrounded by a group of male onlookers in #mydressmychoice (2015). While referring to traditional female nudes in the western canon of art, this painting is also frighteningly reminiscent of the incident when women in Nairobi were attacked for wearing miniskirts.
Armitage's images are both romantic and painfully unfiltered in their portrayal of Kenyan life. Visceral and physically powerful in the marks that Armitage slashes across the cloth, these paintings are richly complex in the stories they tell.
|What||Michael Armitage: Inside the White Cube|
White Cube Bermondsey
144-152 Bermondsey Street , London, SE1 3TQ | MAP
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
29 Apr 15 – 07 Jul 15, Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday 12pm - 6pm
|Website||Click here for more details|