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TokesPlace Presents:

Africa Now! Emerging Talents from a continent on the move: Part 3

27 Jun

In previous exhibits Toke’s Place presented Africa Now! Parts 1 and 2.

In this exhibit Toke’s Place presents :

The Expressionistic Art of Beatrice Njoroge

The previous two exhibits disclosed the modernity and diversity of art in Africa. This exhibit provides additional evidence of that modernity.

Ms. Njoroge is a Kenyan. She states that her works, including those presented in this exhibit, are intended as a psychological look into the everyday life of all people everywhere, especially women.

She created the works presented here by taking random photographs of people and then sketching the images on canvas using different colors to show expressions and human emotions. Each image is the result of a plurality of photographs. I call this painterly collaging. Her use of random brush strokes and exaggeration of subject matter is obvious. Her images are colorful and highly textured because of her impasto technique.

The faces of her images have multiple shades of blues, greens, reds, purple, pink and yellow. The colors define the emotions expressed on the faces.

Overall the colors are cool suggesting the blues or melancholy. The eyes suggest despondency, acceptance and the absence of hope. The colors together with her eyes suggest big time blues. Of course this combination colors will have different meanings in different cultures.

The emotional gravitas of this image is in the eyes. The cool colors in the remainder of the image reinforce the sadness and pain that the eyes project.

This image suggests emotional ecstasy. The background is slightly warmer than the other images. The color of the lipstick is more prominent. The mouth is slightly opened. The eyes are closed. Are we witnessing emotional pleasure?

The cool colors of this image suggests subdued, hidden and/or restrained emotions.

In Ms Njoroge view, emotionally these faces are the faces of anyone and everyone. People relate to them. For her, whatever ones background, life is emotionally similar everywhere even though stimulants varies.

It interesting that that Ms Njoroge only shows a portion of the face in these images. I wonder why. Do you?

Ms Njororge wants audiences to react to these images, positively of negatively. She accepts any reaction except passivity. Reaction is the goal. What is your reaction?

Other images of this artist are at

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