An impressive installation of 80 sculptures is currently on view at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Created by distinguished artist Zak Ové, the show is titled “Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness”. The Wakefield venue will host the totem-like figures until April 3, 2018.
In the backdrop of 18th century landscape, the group of erect, totem-like figures challenge the viewers with their boldness. These installations are part of Ove’s 2016 project for the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at the Somerset House in London. Through these installations, the artist re-enacted Ben Johnson’s play “The Masque of Blackness” played by Anne of Denmark and her troupe in 1605, where the actors had white with black face, as a reference to the color discrimination in the early 17th century. The artist also refers to Ralph Ellison’s famous novel “The Invisible Man,” which was also based on racism and the marginal existence of black people in America. The artist says he seeks to “reignite and reinterpret lost culture using new-world materials, while paying tribute to both spiritual and artistic African identity.” In this series, he used graphite, the “future world black” to describe blackness instead of traditional ebony. His constant endeavor to express traditional African forms by use of modern materials like plastic is evident from his creations. The present figures are based on his childhood favorite wood statue, which his father presented him in early 1970s. The raised hands of the present figures refer to the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement.
Zack Ove was born in 1966 in London. He was earned a B.A. degree in Film and Fine Art from St. Martin’s School of Art London in 1987. He lives and works in London and Trinidad. He works with sculpture, film and photography based on African identity, history and diaspora. Brought up in a mixed family, he was interested in “black power on one side and… social feminism on the other.” As the first Caribbean artist, he was commissioned by the British Museum in 2015 for his installations: a pair of seven-meter high “Moko Jumbie” sculptures, which were exhibited in the Great Court as part of the Celebrating Africa exhibition, and afterwards were permanently installed in their Africa gallery in March 2017.
“Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness” is being showcased through April 3, 2018, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, London.
For details, visit:http://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide/yorkshire-sculpture-park/overview
Click on the slideshow to have a sneak peek of the artist’s work.