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Re: [African_Arts] Why the passion?

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  • arie birnbaum
    Dear Moyo, My first encounter with African Art was at a small Gallery in NYC -at w 45 st between 9-10 Av run by an Liberian women...i bought a small wood
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2005
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      Dear Moyo,
      My first encounter with African Art was at a small Gallery in NYC -at w 45 st between 9-10 Av run by an Liberian women...i bought a small wood container that i have till today ...
      I was a Fine Art student with passion for Africa and African art in particular  i was obsess with African Landscape and  colors  that collided from gold to Yellow to red, 
      To dark rich brown the color of the earth...and finaly to Green...what a composition...
      The Savana ,the hills ,the forests,the rivers and Streams...what a symphony...
      I always wanted to feel how and what the african Artists and people feel ,to walke the same earth,chake on the same dust ,at the mercy of the weather the land the elements and the powers above..
      I was fascinated by african art because its gravity is a different gravity ,its laws and logics are different ,
      i always wanted to feel like African-
      I never succeed.
      Arie Birnbaum
      Israel
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 12:08 PM
      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Why the passion?

      Ditto, Elizabeth - great letter. You expressed many of our feelings.
      Susanne and Bill
       
      -------------- Original message --------------
      Dear Moyo,
       
      Thanks for a WONDERFUL question!
       
      Every piece of African art that I really love makes me see the world a bit differently.  I didn't begin collecting until I was in my 40s...I considered myself an auditory, rather than a visual, person--music has always been essential to me, but art had not been.  I fully realized how little I had known myself last summer when, at the Denver Botanic Gardens magnificent exhibition of the Chipungu Shona stone sulptures from Zimbabwe, I rounded a corner, came upon a sculpture of a man carrying the body of his son who had died from AIDS, and was knocked to my knees.  I have always loved wood furniture-anything but oak!--and some pieces of African art are love affairs between the sculptor and his medium.  It countinues to astound me that two pieces which are superficially similar--two akua ba figures, for example--can differ fundamentally and totally in their ability to evoke response.  I am mesmerized by the opportunities which three dimensions offer: ! I have several paintings whih I love, but a sculpture is new if it is moved or turned an inch.  We all see many pieces--in books, galleries, auctions--but if we choose well, the pieces we choose to live and see day after days, through seasons and major life events, at different ages---are part of the fabric of our lives.  I love feeling a part of a chain, the life of the piece, which began with a tree in Africa and will extend beyond my lifetime. The chi wara in my living room lifts my hreart every time I walk past it.  The pygmy stools by the fireplace have been silent witnesses to holidays, family fights, and innumerable games of charades.  The Dan spoon in the dining room has stood watch over Thanksgiving feasts and takeout Chinese as well as homework and tax preparation.  Far more than any other art, African art speaks to me of shared humanity...cryptic, elusive, unintelligible, mysterious, guarding its secrets, but with stories to tell and gifts t! o give if we take time and pay attention.
       
      Best,
      Elizabeth Bennett

      Africa Direct
      2300 Krameria St.
      Denver, CO 80207



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