Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Many thanks to the dedicated, President and the Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation 
Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi (Who is also a practicing Artist), for inviting Curator Shannon Holdin to install her curated exhibit of the dynamics of the unexposed aesthetic of Funk titled: 
Chaos into Clarity: Re-Possessing a Funktioning Utopia
Featuring at work by
Moroccan born photographer and designer: Hassan Haijaj
British Trinidadian filmmaker and sculptor Zak Ove
Seattle, Brooklyn, Harlem USA Fiber Artist Xenobia Bailey
Many thanks to the staff, security guards and everyone in and around the Sharjah Art Foundation for making my artist visit an educational and inspirational experience that will continue to unfold endless tomorrows. 
This is my artist talk to a group of people in Dubai at the Archives... I am talking about the evolution on the under valued and under appreciated aesthetic of Funk that was cultivated by the domestic skills of the African American Homemaker since Emancipation Proclamation.

To farther understand this aesthetic and share it's inspirational properties with the world, there has to be a in-depth research of the African American unassimilated lifestyle and home in the rural and inner cities of North America, by the members of the household.

In the image above I am speaking about African American Painter/Installation artist: Mickalene Thomas use of her mother, and the aesthetic of her mother as her muse by recreating landscapes and interiors of of sitting rooms inspired by her mothers aesthetic.  

"Through elaborate paintings and installations, Mickalene Thomas honors powerful women and constructs luxe interiors with layers of rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel. Engaging inspiration from art historical sources—among them Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden, and Pop Art—Thomas introduces a complex femininity and expands conventional notions of beauty into incisively glamorous territory."
This image may be a little hard to see,... but... this is a photograph of students at a Black A & M (Agricultural & Mechanical) College at the turn of the 19th Century. 

What I am focusing on is, the oversight of the authentic African American aesthetic of Funk in Design, and the absence of the development of a material culture, and written visual design philosophy, for the development and enhancement of homes, businesses and communities.  That comes from the cultural experience and imagination that is a unique cultural contribution from the African American community to humanity.

This is a Artist Talk at The University of Sharjah, College of Fine Arts & Design. Here I am speaking about the migration of the Moors from Spain to the United States before the Atlantic Slave Trade in North America.

This is an example of the early development of the aesthetic of Funk in a African American House Hold. you can see the walls covered with newspaper that is composed into a on gong collage/mural.

Also the quilt on the bed... This is a situation of a homemaker maintaining a harmonious household and not aware of the beautiful ambiance that is created by the composition of the artifacts.
Talking to students after artist talk.

Visitors to the Exhibit at the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Hassan Haijaj's Dynamically Funky Tea Salon, brilliantly made from recycled materials

A view of the stunning "TIME MACHINE" art work by Zak Ove
Closer view of "The Time Machine,
Sistah Paradise barefoot and in full regalia.

Sistah Paradise's Mystic Domain installation.