Michisei Kohno

Michisei Kohno, “Self Portrait”, 1917, Oil on Canvas, Arthur M Sackler Gallery

Born in 1905 in Isezaki in the Gunma Prefacture of Japan, Michisei Kohno was a Japanese painter, illustrator, and printmaker known for his association with the yōga movement of the early century. His artwork is representative of the Taishō period, from 1912 to 1925, in Japanese art when Emperor TaishOō reigned. This era is considered the time of the liberal ‘democracy’ movement.

In his early youth, Michisei fell under the influence of painter Kishida Ryūsei, known for his realistic yoga-position portraits, and joined his art circle Sõdosha in 1915.. Upon Kishida’s death in 1929, Michisei turned to illustration producing work for novels and a variety of newspapers. In 1931 he became a member of Nihon Hanga Kyokai, the Japanese Woodblock Print Society, and also returned to painting, although sporadically, between 1933 and 1937.

The greatest influence upon Michisei’s work was the prints of Albrecht Dürer, gained primarily form books and magazines. The works of Michelangelo, as well as the Christian faith, also provided inspiration. In his work, Michisei reularly touched upon Christian themes, blending them with unorthodox elements, such as Adam and Eve crossing a river in Japan. He also produced many self-portraits throughout his career.

Michisei Kohno died in 1950 in Koganei in the Tokyo Prefecture of Japan. His artwork was soon forgotten until a 2008 retrospective at the Hiratsuka Museum of Art in Tokyo. Two of his paintings, a portrait of his son Shuntatsu and the self-portrait shown above, are in the Sackler Gallery in Washington DC. His works can be seen in several museums in Japan, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Hiratsuka Museum, both in Tokyo.

Image reblogged with many thanks to ; https://bloghqualls.tumblr.com

Fourteen Men Standing

A Collection: Fourteen Men Standing

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wondrous Promise of the Earth

Photographer Unknown, (Wondrous Promise of the Earth)

“Somehow the wondrous promise of the earth is that there are beautiful things in it, things wondrous and alluring, and by virtue of your trade you want to understand them.” He put the cigarette down. Smoke rose from the ashtray, first in a thin column then (with a nod to universality) in broken tendrils that swirled up to the ceiling.”
James Gleick

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”, Cover Photo for Per Lui Magazine, Issue Number 29, July/August, 1985

Andrew Claude Minsker was born on March 20, 1962, in Portland, Oregon. He was named National Golden Gloves Champion in 1983 and National United States Amateur Champion by the American Boxing Federation in 1983. During his career, he tried out for the US Olympic Boxing Team, becoming the United States Olympic Trials Champion in 1984.

Minsker was a very disciplined boxer, training five days a week, every week, for the fifteen years of his career. By the time he retired from boxing, he had fought 344 matches, had never been knocked off his feet, and had won first-round knockouts against both the Yugoslav and British Commonwealth champions. In 1981 he smashed his right hand on an opponent’s head, causing major damage to his hand which was only partially repaired. Minsker continued fighting bouts, covering up his weakness, for an additional ten years, until his retirement in 1991.

Andrew Minsker was the subject of a documentary by photographer Bruce Weber entitled “Portrait of a Boxer”, a black and white film interspersed with color shots and mixed with jazz songs.The film focuses on Minsker as a coach training a group of kids in his boxing club.

Andrew Minsker is now coporate president of Andrew Minsker, Ltd, Inc, and has been with Postive Impact Unlimited in Milwaukee since 1988. Minsker continues to runs his boxing club in Oregon.

Image reblogged with many thanks to a great visual site: https://doctordee.tumblr.com

 

Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe, “Jack Walls”, 1982, Gelatin Silver Print, Getty Museum

Chicago-born artist Jack Walls has been a vital part of the New York art world for over 30 years. While his visual artwork primarily focuses on painting and collage, Walls is also a writer, poet and performer. In the early 1980s in New York, he met and lived as a couple with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, sitting for photographs and becoming his muse. This relationship lasted until Mapplethorpe’s untimely death in March of 1989. Since then, Walls has become a source of inspiration for a new generation of young artists including: New York City photographer Ryan McGinley, sculptor Dan Colen, and the late multi-media artist Dash Snow. Jack Walls currently lives and works in Hudson, New York.

Painter and poet Jack Walls is considered an ‘inside outsider’ when it comes to his own art which extends across all mediums including drawing, photo collage, poetry and painting. Each work is discovered through Walls’ personal patterns and discipline. As he navigates from one series to the next, he repeats and refashions successful themes. The overall effect fashions a cohesive narrative while still emphasizing his personal style.

“My time with Robert was a learning experience; there was so much to absorb being around him. We worked all the time, everything was about work, but you didn’t really feel like you were working. And yes, it was glamorous, we were invited everywhere. We were very social, we were young… we travelled. He was smart, but not in an intellectual way because he never read books, he was a canny observer, his aesthetic and taste were better than most. Needless to say there wasn’t too much about Robert that was average.”

—Jack Walls, Interview with Eduardo Gion Espejo-Saavedra for GPS Radar, September of 2017   

Image reblogged with many thanks to : https://leomanlds.tumblr.com

Yuri Annenkov

Yuri Annenkov, “Portrait of Daniel Geccen”, 1922, Watercolor with Pen and Ink, 44.5 x 37.7 cm,  Private Collection

Born into an old family of noble descent in Petropavlovsk, Russia, near the Sea of Japan, Yuri Annenkov was formally trained as an artist at the St. Petersburg University. There he studied from 1908-1909 under the direction of Savelli Zaideberg, and from 1909-1911 under painter Yan Tsionglinsky of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. Annenkov left Russia in 1911 and traveled to Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he met many of his compatriots, including Marc Chagall and sculptor Ossip Zadkine.

While in Paris, Annenkov entered the studio of painter Maurice Denis and printmaker Felix Vallotton, both members of the Les Nabis, a group of young artists transitioning to symbolism and abstract art. During the years 1913 to 1917, while illustrating for text publications, Annenkov confirmed his personal style, rooted in the Constructivist form of the time, but with a contemporary personal interpretation adapted to the genre and medium used.

Annekov regularly contributed to the Russian illustrated weekly magazine  “Tetr I Iskuustvo (Theater and Art)” and a variety of other publications. His first work as a book designer was social-realist writer Maxim Gorky’s 1917 fairy-tale book “Samovar” with illustrations by E Popkova.  Annekov gained notoriety when he adapted his constructivist style to a series of illustrations for Russian poet Aleksandra Blok’s emotional revolutionary poem “Dvenadtsat”. This was one of the first poetic responses to the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, a poem later widely condemned by the Russian intelligentsia.

In 1920 Annenkov joined Mstislav Dohuzhinsky, known for his cityscapes, and architect Vladimir Shchuko in preparing theater sets in Saint Petersburg, under the commission of the Bolshevik government. The work included the massive 1920  production “The Storming of the Winter Palace”, performed on the Palace Square, an effort not only to commemorate the Revolution’s third anniversary but also, by design, an attempt to break the barrier between actors and audience. Annenkov’s 1920 production “Hymn to Liberated Labor”, a one-time, open air spectacle with a cast of four thousand, was staged in front of an emotionally charged audience at the old St. Petersburg stock exchange.

Annenkov, in the years from 1920, started to seriously work in the genre of portrait painting. While in Russia, he painted portraits of the renowned artists and politicians of the era, including Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, art critic and historian Alexander Benois, and poet and novelist Boris Pasternak. Annenkov’s book “Portraits”, published in 1922, contained eighty portraits, made between 1906 to 1921, of the main figures of Russian art at that time.

Immigrating to Paris in 1924, Annenkov worked as a book illustrator and as both cinema and theater set designer until his death in 1974. He was co-nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for work in the 1953 film “The Earrings of Madame de. . .”, a romantic French drama film by Max Ophüls.

Note: Annekov’s watercolor “Portrait of Daniel Geccen”  is signed in cyrillic and dated 1922 in the upper right corner. The inscription on the obverse, written by the sitter Daniel Geccen states: ‘1924 9 October – 29 March  To my baby friend – my wife, memory about her I will carry through all of my life, let my love and her love never touched by course of time. Yours Dan…’

Yisrael Dror Hemed

Paintings by Yisrael Dror Hemed

Born in Israel in 1975, painter Yisrael Dror Hemed currently lives and works in Netanya, a resort city in north central Israel. He received both his BA in Law and MA in Law from Tel Aviv University. Between 2007 and 2010, Hemed studied under painter and sculptor Maya Cohen Levy of the Kalisher Art School in Tel Aviv.

Hemed’s work, known for his portrait paintings, explores the image of the male figure, both in its cultural and social spheres. His figurative paintings, mainly in oil, are based both on personal relationships as well as people he has photographed in public spaces. The paintings are characterized by their soft tones and suppleness of form, created by his palette choices and the figure placement on the canvas. 

Yisrael Hemed has exhibited in a variety of exhibitions: the Gross Gallery in Tel Aviv, the Egozi Gallery in Tel Aviv, a solo exhibition in 2013 at the Israel Museum of Art in Ramat Gan, which holds several of his paintings in their collection, and various group exhibitions in Israel and abroad. Hemed also had a solo exhibition in 2019, presented by IAILA, in collaboration with Los Angeles’s Department of Cultural Affairs, as part of LBGT Heritage Month. 

The Sator Square

 

Photographers Unknown, (The Sator Square; A Collection)

The Sator Square is a word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome in a sequence of characters that reads the same backward as forward. It is a five by five square made up of five five-letter words, consisting of twenty-five letters in total. These twenty-five letters are all derived from eight Latin letters, consisting of five consonants (STRPN) and three vowels (AEO).In particular, thr Square is a square 2D palindrome, which is when a square text admits four symmetries: identity, two diagonal reflections, and 180 degree rotation. As can be seen, the text may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, or right-to-left; and it may be rotated 180 degrees and still be read in all those ways.

The Sator Square is the earliest dateable 2D palindrome. It was found in the ruins of Pompeii, Italy, at Herculaneum, a city buried in the ash from the 79 AD Mount Vesuvius eruption. It consists of the five Latin words: Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera, and Rotes. Other Sator Squares have also been found in excavations under the church os Saint Marie Maggiore in Rome; at Cirencester in Cotswolds, England; at Dura-Europos in Syria; at the Valvisciolo Abbey, Latina, Italy; and as a partial inscription on a rune stone at Närke, Sweden.

“It seemed to him that the Square, itself the accidental masonry of many years, the chance agglomeration of time and of disrupted strivings, was the center of the universe. It was for him, in his soul’s picture, the earth’s pivot, the granite core of changelessness, the eternal place where all things came and passed, and yet abode forever and would never change.” 

–Thomas Wolfe, Lost Boy: A Novella

Looking at Mapplethorpe

Photographer Unknown, (Looking at Mapplethorpe), Photo Shoot, Model Unknown

In June 1989, just a few months after his passing from AIDS, a retrospective of over 150 of Robert Mapplethorpe’s works, titled “The Perfect Moment” was due to open at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, DC. In a misguided attempt to avoid controversy due to the sexually-explicit nature of some of the photographs, the director cancelled the exhibition.

In protest, Mapplethorpe supporters congregated outside the gallery on the evening of June 30, 1989, projecting giant images of his work onto the side of the building, creating a powerful and moving tribute, and demonstrating the strong impact that the artist’s work had made on popular culture.

“I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied.”

-Robert Mapplethorpe

Henry Cyril Paget

John Wickens, “Henry Paget, Fifth Marquis of Anglesey”, c 1905, National Trust of England

The Marquis of Anglesey is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The title was created in 1815 for Henry Paget, Second Earl of Uxbridge, who was a hero of the Battle of Waterloo, second in command to the Duke of Wellington. Other subsidiary titles held by the Marquis are Earl of Uxbridge, Middlesex, in the Peerage of Great Britain 91784), Baron Paget, de Beaudesert, in the Peerage of England (1553), and the titles of Irish Baronet, of Pias Newydd in the County of Anglesey, and of Mount Bagenal in the County of Louth. The family seat of the Marquis is Plas Newydd at Lianddaniel Fal, Anglesey. 

Born on June 16, 1875, Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquis of Anglesey, styled Lord Paget until 1880, held the title of Earl of Uxbridge between 1880 and 1898. Notable for squandering his inheritance on a lavish social life, he was the eldest son of Henry Paget, the 4th Marquis, by his wife Blanche Mary Carwen Boyd. After the death of his mother in 1877, Paget went to Paris to live with the French actor Benoít-Constant Coquelin, who was rumored to be his real father. 

At the age of eight, Henry Paget was taken to live at the family seat in Plas Newydd when his father re-married to an American heiress. Paget attended Eton Collage, later receiving private tuition. He learned painting and singing in Germany and spoke fluent French, good Russian, and grammatical Welsh. Paget became commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 

On the 20th of January, 1898, Henry Cyril Paget married his cousin Lilian Florence Chetwynd, maintaining an unconsummated marriage for six weeks at which time his cousin left. The marriage was annulled in 1900 and one year later changed to a legal separation. On the death of his father in October of 1898, Paget inherited his title and the thirty thousand acre family estates, providing an annual income of £110,000, equal to £12 million per year in 2019. Paget swiftly acquired a reputation for a lavish manner of living, spending his money on jewelry and furs, and throwing extravagant parties and theatrical performances.

Paget renamed the family’s country seat as “Anglesey Castle” and converted the family chapel into a 150 seat theater, named the Gaiety Theater. Dressed in opulent costumes, he took the lead role in productions of Shakespeare’s “Henry V” and Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband”. From 1899, most of the performances, performed before invited notable guests,  were a variety of song and dance numbers, sketches, and tableaux vivants, stationary posed scenes with actors and props. In 1901, the Gaiety Theater was open as a public entertainment venue after having been refurbished and fitted with electric stage lighting. 

During the next three years, Paget toured with his company around Britain and Europe. The company travelled with specially painted scenery and their own orchestra; many of their props were exact copies of furniture from Anglesey Castle. Each of Paget’s costumes was specially designed and made to order, either by couturiers or by the London costumiers Morris Angel. The company, which at its largest consisted of fifty performers and crew, required five trucks for the baggage and scenery. The Marquis travelled in a powerful Pullman motor car with a personal staff of four. When at Anglesey Castle, Paget kept actors in lodgings in the neighboring village of Llanfair. 

By 1904, despite his inheritance and income, Henry Paget had accumulated debts of £544,000 (£60 million in 2019):[ on June 11th he was declared bankrupt. Everything, including his jewelry and dressing gowns from Parisian shirtmaker Charvet, were sold to pay creditors. Paget ‘retired’ to France on an income of £3,000 a year,, accompanied by a manservant, first to Dinan in Brittany and finally to Monte Carlo.  On March 14, 1905 at the age of twenty-nine, Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquis of Anglesey, died at Monte Carlo’s Hotel Royale following a long illness of tuberculosis. His remains were returned to St. Edwen’s Church, Llanedwen, for burial. 

The title passed to Henry Paget’s cousin Charles Henry Alexander Paget,  who destroyed all the papers of the 5th Marquis and converted the Gaiety Theatre back into a chapel. It was at least in part owing to the debts left by the 5th Marquis that the family’s principal English estate at Beaudesert,  Staffordshire, had to be broken up and sold in the 1930s. The Paget family moved into the family seat Plas Newydd for their permanent residence.

Henry Cyril Paget’s outrageous and flamboyant lifestyle, his taste for cross-dressing, and the breakdown of his marriage, have led many to assume that he was gay. Lawyer and early gay rights reformer in England, Harford  Montgomery Hyde, author of “The Other Love”, viewed Paget in his 1970 writings as the most notorious aristocratic homosexual at this period. Heritage Studies professor Norena Shopland, specializing in LBGT and Welsh histories, wrote that Henry Paget should be included in the history of gender identity. However, there is no evidence for or against his having had any lovers of either sex. Upon Henry Paget’s death, the deliberate destruction of his papers by his cousin Charles Henry Paget has left the matter to speculation. 

In 2017 the actor and composer Seiriol Davies wrote and performed in his play “How to Win Against History”, a musical based on Henry Cyril Paget’s life. This award-winning show was performed at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe before going on tour in Wales and England. In 2019 the show had its Irish premiere at the Dublin Theater Festival.

The Journeyer

Photographer Unknown, (the Journeyer)

“I let no chance go by untaken. I never hesitated to follow where my curiosity beckoned. I willingly went where there was danger in beauty and beauty in danger. I had experiences in plenty. Many were enjoyable, some were instructive, a few I would rather have missed. But I had them, and I have them still in memory. If, as soon as tomorrow, I go to my grave, it will be no black and silent hole. I can paint the darkness with vivid colors, and fill it with music both martial and languorous, with the flicker of swords and the flutter of kisses, with flavors and excitements and sensations, with the fragrance of a field of clover that has been warmed in the sun and then washed by a gentle rain. . .”
Gary Jennings, The Journeyer

Duane Michals

Duane Michals, “Narcissus”, 1986, Photo Shoot, Model Unknown

Duane Michals was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on February 18th, 1932. After taking art classes at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, he attended the University of Denver, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1953. In 1956 after his military service, Michals moved to New York where he studied at Parsons School of Design, later working as a graphic designer for magazines “Dance” and “Time”.

A 1958 Russian tour of portraiture photography started Michals’ artistic career. His photographs in the mid-1960s consisted of mainly deserted sites in New York. In 1966, Michals started to structure his photographs as multiframe compositions, with subjects enacting set narratives. The writing of captions in the margins of his photographs began in 1974 and, later in 1979 the incorporation of paint into his treatment of the printed images.

Duane Michals’s narrative pieces rely on the sequencing of multiple images to convey a sense of alienation and disequilibrium. In his world, the literal appearance of things is less important than the communication of a concept or story. In his portraiture, however, Michals relies wholly on his subjects’ appearance and self-chosen poses to establish their identity. He believes in a direct approach for his portraiture instead of his usual metaphoric approach.

Writing on the Body

Photographers Unknown, (Writings on the Body)

“Who taught you to write in blood on my back? Who taught you to use your hands as branding irons? You have scored your name into my shoulders, referenced me with your mark. The pads of your fingers have become printing blocks, you tap a message on to my skin, tap meaning into my body.” 

–Jeanette Winterson, Writing on the Body

 

Peter Samuelson

Peter Samuelson, “Self Portrait in the Bird Room”, 1952, Oil on Board, 81.3 x 63.5 cm, Private Collection

British artist Peter Samuelson, born in Salisbury in 1912, studied at Eton College where his artistic aptitude was first noticed. He studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts in Paris before moving to Holland to work as an illustrator. Following his service in the Second World War, Samuelson returned in 1947 to England again working as an illustrator and later as a set designer in the London theater. 

In the early 1950s Peter Samuelson helped his mother run a boarding house in Torquay, Cornwall, on the English Channel. It was here that the majority of his work from the 1950s and 1960s was produced, consisting of brightly colored portraitures and life studies of the boardinghouse’s lodgers. A zen-like calm prevades  the romantically colored canvases and drawings, with a line quality that suggests the decorative sensitivity of Jean Cocteau and Christian Bérard.

Samuelson returned to London in 1952, where he opened his own boarding houses, continuing his practice of using lodgers and guests as subjects. The artist, though shy in nature, was able to capture life and movement fluidly in his work, distilling the essence of his subjects, often merely observed in the public spaces of the boarding houses, with great skill. Not a social person, Samuelson never actively sought representation or a gallery exhibition; but he did sell pieces to friends and gave some as gifts to friends and models.

Samuelson abandoned painting almost entirely in 1965, spending the latter years of his life in restoring Oriental rugs. In the 1980s, as his health began to decline, his friends placed work in galleries, including an exhibition at Leighton House Museum in London, resulting in some critical acclaim. A book of his work entitled “Post War Friends”, containing paintings and drawings, was published in 1987 by GMP Publishers, London. Peter Samuelson died in 1996. 

Suffused with Purple Light

Photographer Unknown, (Suffused with Purple Light), Model Unknown

“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
Pablo Neruda

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, known best by his pen name Pablo Neruda, was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet and diplomat. He became known nationally as a poet when he was thirteen years old, writing in various styles. He wrote surrealist poems, political manifestos, historical epics, an autobiography, and love poems of great passion. Often considered the national poet of Chile, Neruda wrote the collection “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” in 1924 at the age of twenty. The poem above is from his collection “100 Love Sonnets”, published in 1959.

Faces of Man: WP Photo Set Six

Faces of Man: WP Photo Set Six

“I always prefer to work in the studio. It isolates people from their environment. They become in a sense. . .symbolic of themselves. I often feel that people cone to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller- to find out how they are. So they are dependent on me. I have to engage them. Otherwise there is nothing to photograph. The concentration has to come from me and involve them.

Sometimes the force of it grows so strong that sounds in the studio go unheard. Time stops. We share a brief, intense intimacy. But it is unearned. It has no past. . .no future. And when the sitting is over- when the picture is done -there is nothing left except the photograph. . .the photograph and a kind of embarrassment. They leave. . .and I don’t known them. I have hardly heard what they have said.

If I meet them a waek later in a room somewhere, I expect they won’t recognize me. Because I don’t feel I was really there. At least the part of me that was. . .is now in the photograph. And the photographs hava a reality for me that the people don’t. It is through the photographs that I know them. Maybe it is in the nature of being a photographer. I am never really implicate. I don’t have to have any real knowledge. It is all a question of recognitions.”

Richard Avedon

 

Omar Victor Diop

Omar Victor Diop, “A Moroccan Man (1913)”, 2014, Self-Portrait from the “Diaspora” Series

Senegalese self-taught photographer Omar Victor Diop’s portraits capture the diversity of modern African societies through the portraiture of its inhabitants by layering genres, color, and patterns to create stunningly vivid imagery. Grounding his practice in his childhood experiences in Dakar, Diop sites influences ranging from American popular culture to Arabic music.

Diop’s first conceptual project “Fashion 2112, The Future of Beauty”, featured at the Pan African Exhibition of the African Biennale of Photography of 2011 in Bamako, gained rapid recognition, which led him to committing to photography exclusively. In his series ” Studio of the Vanities”, he captures the young entrepreneurs of Africa’s urban culture, including fashion designers, visual artists, and models. Diop thoughtfully selects the backdrops, patterns, and apparel to emphasize his model’s personality and cultural attributions, while also collaborating with the subject on these decisions to portray an accurate portrait of their individuality.

Omar Victor Diop’s “Project Diaspora” is a series of elaborately stage portraits of himself in various historical guises. These are based on actual paintings form the 15th to the 19th centuries, but also refer to the contemporary world, even the world of football. The image above was based on an original 1913 painting by Catalan painter and watercolorist José Taprió y Baró, a close friend of painter Marià Fortuny with whom Baró shared an interest in Orientalism.

“It started with me wanting to look at these historical black figures who did not fulfil the usual expectations of the African diaspora insofar as they were educated, stylish and confident, even if some of them were owned by white people and treated as the exotic other. Individuals such as Albert Badin, a Swedish court servant in the 18th century or Juan de Pareja, who was a member of Velázquez’s household in the 17th century. I wanted to bring these rich historical characters into the current conversation about the African diaspora and contemporary issues around immigration, integration and acceptance.” -Omar Victor Diop, The Guardian, 2015

Cinga Samson

Paintings by Cinga Samson

Educated in a shared art studio of South African painters in his early twenties, soon after deciding to dedicate his life to art, Cinga Samson has recently established himself as an important new voice in contemporary painting. His oil works on canvas manifest echoes of what he describes as the superstitions and spirituality integral to his upbringing in the town of Ethembeni and its surrounding countryside.

Desire, aspiration, and celebration of identity drive much of Samson’s work, for which he draws inspiration from fashion, heritage, and the works of Paul Gauguin and Andrew Wyeth, among others. Samson’s process incorporates the use of sketches and photo shoots; he carefully selects elements within a composition to be replaced with others in order to achieve a sensual equilibrium between the real, the imagined, and the accentuated.

The recipient of the 2017 Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, Cinga Samson  exhibited at the Armory Show, New York, in 2018.