From Beyoncé to Sorry to Bother You: the new age of Afro-surrealism

There he was, dangling into the void. Sinking, arms outstretched, helplessly clawing at the air. Jordan Peele’s satirical horror Get Out introduced us to the “sunken place”, a purgatory where Daniel Kaluuya’s character is trapped by body-snatching white liberals. As otherworldly as the Salvador Dalí-designed dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, it was the scene that planted Afro-surrealism firmly in the mainstream.

It also symbolized the revival of a genre in which strangeness and blackness not only co-exist but are impossible to separate. In recent years we’ve had Atlanta, a show its creator Donald Glover proudly called a “black Twin Peaks”, and a host of film-makers including Kahlil Joseph, Arthur Jafa and Jenn Nkiru, who have given a hallucinatory edge to the music of Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and Beyoncé. Joseph’s video to Flying Lotus’s Until the Quiet Comes reimagines Watts in Los Angeles as a phantasmagoric playground where a murdered black man’s body dances, bullet-ridden and bloodied, through the projects. Jafa’s video installation Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death is a collage of images; athletes and artists from LeBron James to Drake are interspersed with footage of police beating black people and civil-rights unrest, while a huge psychedelic sun burns in the background – coming in and out of the mix like a harbinger of impeding doom.

Earlier this year in the United States, writer and director Terence Nance’s sketch show Random Acts of Flyness sent up police violence, white saviour syndrome and everyday racism in a style described by the New York Times as “kaleidoscopic, nearly unclassifiable”. And this week sees the UK release of Boots Riley’s satire Sorry to Bother You, which uses surrealism to comment on race, sexuality and capitalism.

Read More – From Beyoncé to Sorry to Bother You: the new age of Afro-surrealism – The Guardian 

See the Works of Leonor Fini, the Surrealist Female Artist Who Rejected Salvador Dalí

It’s hard to imagine not jumping at a personal invitation from Salvador Dalí to join his artist crew in officially pioneering Surrealism, but Leonor Fini, a little-known Argentine-Italian artist, was always one to defy expectations—starting with the sheer fact that she was a woman. While Fini maintained friendships with her almost entirely male artist counterparts, she steadfastly rejected not only the woman-as-muse views of the movement’s leader, André Breton, but also art history’s centuries-old approach to one of its most popular subjects—the female nude. (Not to mention any notions of gender norms, which are, of course, still common to this day.) As much as Fini stood out at the time, however, it’s only now, more than two decades after her death, that the artist is getting her due. Her first American museum survey, “Leonor Fini: Theatre of Desire, 1930–1990,” which is on view at the Museum of Sex, in New York, through March 2019, showcases just how much Fini’s often humorous work differs from your usual erotica; decades before any discussion of the so-called “female gaze,” Fini was known for upending the very concept of the nude in art by objectifying the men, not the women, in her work—an approach since embraced by the likes of Andy Warhol and Madonna. Take a look, here.

Read More – See the Works of Leonor Fini, the Surrealist Female Artist Who Rejected Salvador Dalí – W Magazine

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