Graphically Speaking

When we recently spotted Tanzanian-born model Herieth Paul dressed in a Gareth Pugh body suit, the image immediately struck us, that is graphically speaking.

It conjured up so many references some originating from Africa the others gleaned from some our favourite artists from around the globe. From the heavy brush stroked paintings of famed American painter, Richard Serra, to the stark and daring hand painted costumes made by Keith Haring. His custom made body paintings, headdress and costumes for Grace Jones in the 80’s seem so reminiscent of the body paintings done by the Surma people of Southern Ethiopia.

We weave from one image to the next on a mostly black and white journey, some made by contemporary artist the likes of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her obsession with dots that began way back in the 60’s to more…














Credits in order of appearance

Jean-Michel Basquiat (USA). Self Portrait (Plaid), 1983, Sammlung Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / VBK, Wien, 2010

Fatouma Diabaté (Mali). L’Homme en animal, 2011

Robert Mappelthorpe (USA). Grace Jones, 1984,  © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Boaz Rottem (USA). Surma Boy.

Victor Ekpuk (Nigeria). “You Be Me, I Be You.”

Surma Girl, Photo Morgana.

Richard Serra (USA), Painting title unknown, 1973

Grace Jones 1987, Dress by Keith Haring (USA).  Photo by Ron Galella/Wire Image

Herieth Paul (Tanzania) featured in fashion editorial, Lower East Side by photographer Max Abadian for magazine, Dress To Kill.

Yayoi Kusama (Japan). Self-Obliteration by Dots (detail), 1968, performance, documented with black-and-white photographs by Hal Reif.

Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali). Le Temps de Danse, 2008. Courtesy of the artist, Abdoulaye Konaté and Maison Revue Noire.

Yayoi Kusama (Japan). “Accumulation No. 2,” 1968. Courtesy of the artist.

Jean-Baptiste Huyhn (France). Portrait I, Ethiopia.


All images courtesy of the respective artists as listed above. All rights reserved.

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