Tag Archives: african

Eye On Design: Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture
Photos By Gail

Creating cool, modern furniture from upcycled car parts is not an entirely new idea, but in this case there is a unique motivation behind the design. This fun and funky Side Chair and Cocktail Table — which incorporate discarded car tires and refinished bike wheels — is by Xtreme Upcycle, a small business whose proprietors have a deep social conscience behind everything they produce.

Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Embracing the theme of Turning Trash Into Treasures, Xtreme Upcycle (established in 2012) lives its vision of reducing waste and combating climate change; finding alternative uses for discarded items and recycling them into up-cycled new products! Based in Ghana, West AfricaXtreme Upcycle works on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by halting climate change in its own small, but significant, way. In partnership with it upcycled fashion accessory business MH Couture, they promote positive environmental sanitation processes, create employment for all (with an emphasis on women), and contribute to the education of underprivileged young women and girls in West African society. They also embark on regular tree planting exercises in rural communities. Fantastic!

Follow and contact Xtreme Upcycle via Instagram at @xtremeupcycle!

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture

Photographed at the New York Now Show at Javits Center

Sansa Chair in Red By Cheick Diallo

Sansa Chair
All Photos By Gail

The Sansa Chair, an inventive deconstruction of the chair form, is among the original creations that have established Cheick Diallo (b 1960 in Mali, West Africa), as one of Africa’s leading contemporary designers.

Sansa Chair Front
Sansa Chair Front View (2012)

Built from steel and nylon material by artisans from Bamakos at Diallo’s direction, the half-reclining Sansa chair seems to sit midway between a European notion of the chair as a leisure object and a West African idea of the chair as a support for displaying a person of status.

Sansa Chair Rear
Sansa Chair Rear View

I think it is simply stunning!

Part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of Africa Collection, this chair is on view in the Double Take: African Innovations Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor (Through July 2016).

Hall of Mammals Dioramas, Museum of Natural History

Impala
The Tame Impala (All Photos By Gail)

I remember when I first saw the trailer for Night at the Museum, and I was so excited for the movie because it had long been a fantasy of mine to be in NYC’s Museum of Natural History after closing time to see if all of those animals in the nature dioramas might come to life. Just being serious.

I like to visit the Natural History Museum on Central Park West a few times a year to see the special, temporary exhibits, but I also try to spend time when I am there at my favorite installations which are the Hall of Ocean Life and the Guggenheim Hall of Gems and Minerals, where I could lose myself for hours.

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bears

On a recent trip however, Geoffrey and I decided to spend a couple of hours really exploring the Mammal Halls – including animals from North America, Africa and Asia displayed in painstakingly recreated lifelike dioramas of their natural habitats – which is generally a section of the museum we end up racing through on our way to somewhere else. Although these dioramas undergo regular maintenance and periodic restorations, they are essentially unchanged in 50 years and the stories they tell are eternal.

I really love the mammal halls because they are kept mostly in darkness, where the only lights come from inside the dioramas. This makes them somewhat challenging to photograph but gives the exhibits a timeless sense of romance and adventure.

Baboons
Baboons

You can read a bit of the background on how these dioramas were created at This Link. But for now, let’s see more pictures.

Alaskan Brown Bear
Alaskan Brown Bears

Wapiti Elk
Wapiti (Elk)

American Bison
American Bison

Alaska Moose
Alaskan Moose

Musk Ox
Musk Ox

Mountain Goat Family
Mountain Goat Family

Ice Age Mammals
Miniature Diorama of North American Ice Age Mammals

Big Horn White Sheep
Big Horn White Sheep

Cheetahs
Cheetahs

Water Buffalo
Water Buffalos

GiraffesZebras

The Giraffes and Zebras above are actually two halves of the same large Diorama.

These photos represent just a tiny fraction of the all the animals and exhibits we saw. It was such a fun day! you should go and have your own adventure!

The American Museum of Natural History is located on Central Park West Between 79th and 83rd Streets on NYC’s Upper West Side. Take the C train to the 83rd Street Stop.

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits at Smart Clothes Gallery

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
All Photos By Gail

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits, is a solo exhibition of more than twenty paintings from two series on view at Smart Clothes Gallery through December 20th, 2013.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
Detail from Painting Above

The genesis of the African-American Portraits is framed by two significant events. In the eighties, Andy Warhol presented Klineman with a pair of his glasses, which she would incorporate into one of her “Fashion Portraits,” marking her first use of the silkscreen technique. Donning the eye-wear, she exclaimed that she ‘saw the world Andy sees.’ Years later, she received an African mask on her birthday. Instinctively, she put it on, repeating the gesture in a silkscreened self-portrait. These gifts and their presentation echo a kind of ceremony, and their performance would give Klineman new perspective on her art.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Russell Simmons

Since then, Klineman has been commissioned to create portraits for some of the most eminent members of the African-American cultural community, including Russell and Danny Simmons, Mary Schmidt Campbell, dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and actor Malik Yoba. Her choice of masks reflects a sensitivity to the cultural significance of these objects and their innate beauty. Ancestry is reawakened through the masquerade of photographic superimposition. The earlier sister series, Ancestral Spirits, is a celebration of indigenous sculpture in the tradition of modern art’s fascination with these objects.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

If these paintings are in the mode of Pop icons, Hedy Klineman’s spiritual counter-narrative for the process is entirely her own. Employing an understanding of essence influenced by Eastern philosophy, her silkscreened paintings hold the presence of their subjects within. Coupled with colorful grounds that relate to the artist’s history as an abstract painter,

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Statues

Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits is a celebration of ancestry and community.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2013 at Smart Clothes Gallery, located 154 Stanton Street (Corner of Suffolk St), New York, NY 10012. Hours are 12:00 Noon To 6:00 PM
Wednesday to Sunday.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Signage