Ben Enwonwu on “African Art”

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Nigerian Sculptor and Painter, the late Ben Enwonwu in his art studio in Ikoyi, suburb of Lagos, #Nigeria.

 

‘’I will not accept an inferior position in the art world. Nor have my art called African because I have not correctly and properly given expression to my reality.

I have consistently fought against that kind of philosophy because it is bogus. European artists like Picasso, Braque and Vlaminck were influenced by African art.

Everybody sees that and is not opposed to it. But when they see African artists who are influenced by their European training and technique, they expect that African to stick to their traditional forms even if he bends down to copying them. I do not copy traditional art.

I like what I see in the works of people like Giacometti but I do not copy them. I knew Giacometti personally in England, you know. I knew he was influenced by African sculptures. But I would not be influenced by Giacometti, because he was influenced by my ancestors.”

Source: Mango Island Fugitive

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