Concep Says Black Is Beautiful

10 Aug

The artist Tony Concep

Master Teacher by Tony Concep

Hmmmmm, what can I say about Tony Concep ? In my humble opinion this man is one of the greatest African-American artists of my generation….strip away his ethnic affiliation and he would still be one of the greatest artists of my generation.  There are some people who have been  blessed with the ability to bless others through the works of their hands and this young man harbors such a gift.  

He is a microcosm of creativity unto himself;  he dances,  paints,  dabbles in prose,  designs clothing and , in no easy feat, is a master of all of his trades. I visit his blog often as I find it to be an abundant source of inspiration and knowledge, the sincere ramblings of a man doing his best to navigate this journey and share the bits and pieces of joy and sorrow and confusion and enlightenment he finds along the way. He calls his latest collection of paintings ‘The Darkside ‘, and for this collection he is using canvas that he has blacked out with gesso. When I first looked as the works he had completed,  my initial thought was ‘Black is Beautiful’.  I am not suggesting that other cultures do not love color as much as we, but the use of color to enhance our physical appearence, dwelings, and clothing has always been a strong  trait within our culture. Black folks  have an innate sense of style,  a striking aestheticism that I thank mother Africa for every day.  I find the the kaleidiscope of colors he uses against the black canvas as eye-catching and beautiful as I find hot pink, lime green, fire engine red, salmon, plum, burnt orange, gold, and electric blue garments against black/brown skin, as beautiful as the varying pigmentations of my people and the richness and complexity of our culture and collective  history which gains a new page with each passing day.  Below are pictures by photo-documentarian Phyllis Galembo. They are portraits of the various peoples of different cultures throughout the African diaspora……..look at them, then look at the canvas again. Do you see what I see?

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phylllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo By Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo


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