Opus Electrica by Annika Newell
© Zack Hussain
Lost Wax Playing Cards
By Olutade Abidoye
Each set of Lost Wax Playing Cards contains 54 playing cards featuring illustrations of royal figures from the 15th – 19th century Benin Empire. The Benin Empire thrived in what is now southern Nigeria and left an impressive record of their civilization in the form of bronze plaques commissioned by the King (Oba) to adorn the courtyards of his palace. The playing cards pay homage to this prosperous period in Nigerian history and, in effect, bring this bygone era from the archives into modernity in a colorful and playful way.
"I expect Lost Wax Playing Cards to bring a new dynamism to Nigerian popular culture and consciousness. My aim is to rekindle this colorful, yet elusive history into Nigerian popular culture through these playing cards. Nigerians are influenced by their indigenous traditions but more increasingly by popular culture. Symbols of tradition—such as those that inspire these cards—are easily overshadowed by meanings, images and activities drawn from popular culture. Since popular culture is grounded in the mundane and the persistent routines of everyday life, then this history too becomes implicit and fixed. The old Africa that inspired these artifacts has now lost much of its luster. If Nigeria’s prosperous past becomes common sense through these cards, then perhaps the notion of a brighter future won’t be so far-fetched." - Olutade
Israeli visual artist and painter Roy Nachum (1979), believes that art should be accessible to everybody, even those who are visually impaired and for this reason his latest work “BLIND" combines painting with Braille signage.
The moment which made the artist re-contextualize his signature pixel technique into Braille, came about a few years ago, when a chance encounter with Braille signage at a museum exhibition forced him to think of new ways in which the blind could possibly experience visual artworks. Until then, he had been utilizing the idea of pixels painted one-by-one to create micro worlds that come together in order to form the pattern of a single reality or of a dream. Most of the themes of his pixelized oil paintings on canvas derive from his brain’s hard disc which is why one could characterize him as a ”digital painter”.
Nachum’s photo realistic oil paintings illustrate surrealistic images of a fantasy realm, which employ Braille and a “double vision” technique that challenges those with sight to question the limitations of their vision. All the texts comprise poems written by the artist and inspired by the paintings. via
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