Photos

Celebrating 21st Century Masks From Africa & The Diaspora

The Seattle Art Museum will soon debut a new exhibition celebrating the art of 21st century African masks.

All images courtesy of Seattle Art Museum


A new exhibition celebrating the art of African masks will soon open at the Seattle Art Museum. Debuting June 18th, Disguise: Masks & Global African Art features the work of contemporary artists hailing mostly from Africa and the diaspora who, through their art, interpret the alternate realities that come with disguising oneself. The presentation will also feature an ongoing masquerade celebration with otherworldly sounds, installations, photographs, sculptures and videos.

In a recent statement announcing the exhibition, the Seattle Art Museum's Curator of African and Oceanic Art Pamela McClusky explained why the element of masquerade is crucial to the show. “While masks were exported in vast quantities to become a signature art form representing the African continent in the 20th century, masquerades were left behind. Disguise attempts to bridge the gap between the mask observed in isolation and the masquerade experienced as a catalyst."

Disguise features work from 12 contemporary African artists, including Angolan photographer Edson Chagas, Nigerian contemporary artists Toyin Odutola, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Emeka Ogboh, Zina Saro-Wiwa and Iké Udé, Zimbabwean visual artist Gerald Machona, South African photographers Hasan and Husain Essop, Beninise photographer Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, South African mixed-media artist Nandipha Mntambo, and Kenyan-Indian visual artist Brendan Fernandes. Rounding out the show are pieces by Nick Cave, Alejandro Guzman, Jakob Dwight, Saya Woolfalk, Paul Anthony Smith, Ebony G. Patterson, Sam Vernon, Jacolby Satterwhite and William Villalongo.

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art runs from June 18th to September 7th at the Seattle Art Museum.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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