The Baert Gallery invites all to attend the solo exhibition opening of “The Legitimacy of Brutality” by Rome-based artist Jebila Okongwu on March 25, 6-9 p.m.
Jebila Okongwu critiques stereotypes of Africa and African identity and repurposes them as counterstrategies, drawing on African history, symbolism, and spirituality. Themes of civil rights, migration and other socio-political concerns are also prevalent in Okongwu’s art. He often works with banana boxes, considering that their cliched slogans and tropical graphics articulate an ‘exotic’ provenance, much like the exoticisation of African bodies from an ethnocentric perspective. When these banana boxes are shipped to the West from Africa, the Caribbean and South America, the old routes of slavery are retraced, accentuating existing patterns of migration, trade and exploitation. The bold geometries often evident in Okongwu's work are inspired by the traditional carving of the Igbo from eastern Nigeria, the artist’s ancestral heritage.
More about the artist here.
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