12 Uber-talented Black Artists You Should Know And Support

black-artists-you-should-know-and-support

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he evolution of Black artists, irrespective of location, style, and personality, has been impressive over the decades. Through their craft, the art world has seen a massive wave of progression, which has led to a slew of collectors with an appreciation for creations from Black artists. The works of these contemporary Black artists constantly challenge the norm, as we know it, through sculptures, paintings, textiles, photography, and whatever they deem fit for expression.

Consequently, these groundbreakers have had a huge impact on the modern African art scene by traveling into history and restructuring abnormalities, redefining the stories, exposing the challenges of the Black community, and blazing trails that generations can leverage. As a brand committed to amplifying the story and treasures of the Black community, we have decided to curate this list of Black artists that deserve your attention and are worthy of your support.

Check out 12 inspiring Black artists rewriting the narrative through art…

#1. Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare is a British-Nigerian artist whose work reflects his diverse cultural background. His prominent works feature headless sculptures wrapped in what we know as “African” fabrics. These sculptures have alien silhouettes in 18th-century ensembles. Describing himself as a post-colonial “hybrid,” his work highlights the effect of colonialism and racism. Shonibare has been recognized with a “Member of the Order of the British Empire” title.

#2. Kehinde Wiley

A charismatic African-American painter whose historical painting sends strong artistic messaging of representation of Black folks in portraiture. His political work challenges the narrative behind Black masculinity, as he chooses to fill the void of Black under-representation. He references lots of old master paintings, and his portrait of former American president Barack Obama is one notable moment for the artist. Wiley has had his naturalistic paintings featured in prestigious platforms like the National Portrait Gallery, top 500 New York Taxi Cabs, and Canteen magazine.

#3. Gregory Prescott

A fine artist and editorial photographer, Prescott has a knack for telling his story through fine art photography. An interesting edge to Prescott’s art is his ability to turn live figures into non-invasive sensual art. Some of his work portrays nude silhouettes in diverse skin tones, which doesn’t just connote sexual awareness, but thrives to show admirable self-acceptance and love.

#4. Titus Kaphar

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Kaphar is one of the Black artists you should know (perhaps, already know). An artist with an enthralling take on multi-dimensional art, and his plethora of outstanding works is proof. His contrasting Thomas Jefferson neoclassical painting fastened beside Sarah Sally Hemings‘ bare-bodied painting is the type of cut-canvas style used to portray his strong sense of restructuring Black history.

Kaphar’s most exhibited work is installed at the Friedman Benda gallery: The Vesper Project — inspired by a man named Vesper who had a psychotic breakdown after looking at Kapher’s works. Mr. Vesper seemed troubled and needed a place to call home again. This project was dedicated to Vesper—a 19th-century family setting dedicated to individuals who “pass as a white family.”

#5. Krissy Diggs

Japan-based illustrator Diggs is the moment. Her colorful animations became popular in the 2000s, and she continues to show off her art on her YouTube show titled Challenge Accepted. The graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD is eager to take illustration to the next level.

#6. Adaeze Okaro

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“Love, melancholy, and black beauty inspire my imagery,” says Okaro, a photographer and fine artist whose work focuses on showcasing the beauty of black women without the stereotypes attached. As a self-taught artist, Okaro’s art has been featured on big platforms like Getty Images, Adobe, and Girl Glaze.

#7. Rachelle Baker

Book cover illustrator Rachelle Baker sets the pace with her exemplary designs. “I draw a lot of inspiration from the movement and graphic style of comics, and the drama of baroque art.” This approach explains the artsy and deep covers of books like “Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb” and “A is for Aretha.” Baker is behind some of the best-selling New York Times covers, and her preference for bold colors and patterns remains evident in her artistic interpretations.

#8. Imo Nse Imeh

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A scholar of African Diaspora art, Imo Nse Imeh infuses cultural identity into his craft using the influence of his aesthetic background. As an Associate of Art and Art History at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, he lectures and contributes to publications. Dr. Imeh is the author of Daughters of Seclusion: the Revelation of the Ibibio “Fattened Bride” as the Icon of Beauty and Power (Peter Lang 2012). He also addresses racial and slavery issues by reimagining and restructuring the narrative through his in-depth art knowledge.

#9. Faith Ringgold

One of the famous quotes of this 92-year-old American artist who has stayed consistently in the craft for decades is, “You can’t sit around waiting for somebody else to say who you are. You need to write it, paint it, and do it. That’s the power of being an artist.” Faith Ringgold is known for her story quilts, which express her political views and women’s rights.

#10. Aaron Ricketts

Aaron Ricketts is an award-winning photographer and visual artist whose work seamlessly cuts across both the art and entertainment world. He has carved a niche in the NFT streets, with surreal arts, fusing photography, animation, and motion into artwork that sells nothing less than $4,000. Rickett has worked with Netflix and Converse and is one of the Black artists who keep evolving with the times, yet stay true to his uniqueness.

#11. Njideka Akunyili Crosby

2016 Financial Times Woman of the Year, Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian visual artist who “negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating collage and photo transfer-based paintings that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds.” Crosby’s use of contemporary art is a blend of her Nigerian and American backgrounds, which is obvious in her photo transfer layers of paintings.

#12. Athi-Patra Ruga

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The paintings of Black artists like South African Athi-Patra Ruga are a breath of fresh air the voracious art world desperately needs. Ruga is known for his performances like The Future White Women of Azania and Performance Obscura, and his colorful variations of the value of utopia. “Ruga creates alternative identities and uses these avatars to parody and critique the existing political and social status quo.” This is his way of enforcing justice for his ancestors in post-apartheid South Africa.


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