Amazwi is the Zulu word for “voices.” Our goal at Amazwi Contemporary Art is to give voice to a diverse array of African artists, while broadening appreciation of their talent and understanding of their cultures. By supporting their continued growth and development as artists, all of us have the opportunity to contribute to an exciting time in African art.
In thinking about Contemporary African art, put aside pre-conceived ideas of wood carvings, masks and other traditional artifacts. In many cases, contemporary African art is influenced by tradition, but its growth and ability to flourish derive from the political transition of African countries from colonialism to independence. African artists suddenly had more exposure to the work of their counterparts from other continents, had more opportunities for formal training, and were not as restricted by political and social pressures to limit art making to “tourist art.”
In the latter half of the 20th century, African artists started experimenting with nontraditional manners of expression and interpreting the world around them in fresh, new ways. Whether abstract, impressionistic or realistic, their work often uses bold colors and mixed media to connect with the viewer. Their subject matter most often celebrates the natural beauty of Africa – the most exotic of continents – and its people.