For a project to conclude my minor in art history, I did historical research on the identity of the black artist through the centuries, and created a piece using linocutting and photoshop on the subculture of the Sapeurs in the Republic of Congo.
La Sape is a movement that revolves around men taking the historical European clothing to make it their own with patterns and colors. The movement isn't exclusively sartorial, as it's accompanied by rules of conduct: a Sapeur must always behave gentlemanly, treat others with respect and must not resort to violence. The quote on my work is from Wikipedia, where it's explained that the movement started to combat the European way of thinking that the black man is inherently inferior to the white man.
.I started sketching poses I wanted first. I wanted a composition that was slightly dynamic, but nothing too heavy since the men still needed a calm and collected appearance. I then started with the patterns I wanted and the style of the face, as I would be doing close-ups. I took inspiration from the Black Panther artist Emory Douglas, who made graphic yet illustrative prints for the Party magazine in the 70s.
Lastly I did the linocuts. I cut the portraits and prints separately for convenience, and adjusted the pattern to the shape of the suit. I scanned the final image and enhanced and edited it on Photoshop to create the final image.