African Art

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Artistic styles have evolved over a great many generations to become what they are today. The African styles of the Pygmies and modern art today have some very close relations but are also very different. The art of the Pygmies includes Kuba cloth and ci-wara headdresses. The Kuba cloth is hand woven with intricate designs and color. There are many different patterns and designs when it comes to Kuba cloth. Some Kuba cloths have use many different dyes while others only use 3 or 4. Most Kuba cloths show some kind of order or pattern in which they are woven. A modern artist of today may use the same design concept the African people have used. Henri Matisse used some African design styles in a painting he did. The painting has a very intricate design and seems to depict a sort of sequence of events. He also painted a portrait of a woman wearing what looked like a Kuba cloth.

The designs on the cloth showed a diamond shaped pattern like ones shown in some early Kuba cloth. Pablo Picasso's art is quite different from African art. Picasso is known as one of the greatest modern artists in history though his paintings show little sign of African influence. One painting is very abstract and very few colors. It seems to be a cubist design and a face can faintly be made out in the background.

Another style of African art that is seen in modern art are ci-wra headdresses. These headdresses made by the Bahmana people of Mali are hand caved from wood or stone. These headdresses are used in ceremonies and are carefully hand crafted to represent different animals. The Bahmana people also sculpt tiny figures, possibly of people in their tribe or to represent someone they know.