Textile Artist: Bisa Butler makes Beautiful Quilted Portraits of Frederick Douglass | ARTLECTURE

Textile Artist: Bisa Butler makes Beautiful Quilted Portraits of Frederick Douglass

-Nina Simone, Jean-Michel Basquiat & More-

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Textile Artist: Bisa Butler makes Beautiful Quilted Portraits of Frederick Douglass
-Nina Simone, Jean-Michel Basquiat & More-

HIGHLIGHT


My subjects are African Americans from ordinary walks of life who may have sat for a formal family portrait or may have been documented by a passing photographer. Like the builders of the White House, they have no names or captions to tell us who they were." ...

Fiber artist Bisa Butler’s quilted portraits of Black Americans gain extra power from their medium. (Homepage: https://www.claireoliver.com/artists/bisa-butler/)

Each work is comprised of many scraps, carefully cut and positioned after hours of research and preliminary sketches.



Textile Artist Makes Beautiful Quilted Portraits | Localish



When Bisa Butler started to create her art, she knew she wanted it to be more than just portraits. She wanted to represent the energy and vibrancy of African American life. Her quilted masterpieces will amaze you. As she describes in the above video:


The initial start is who’s it gonna be? Then after you choose that person, choose your color scheme. The color scheme is based on what you feel about that person. People have color around them, in them, that is not evidently visible to the naked eye.



Image courtesy of Bisa Butler



Velvet and silk nestle against bits of vintage flour sacks, West African wax print fabric, denim and, occasionally, hand-me-downs from the sitter’s own collection.


Artist Statement below:


My subjects are African Americans from ordinary walks of life who may have sat for a formal family portrait or may have been documented by a passing photographer. Like the builders of the White House, they have no names or captions to tell us who they were.



As anthropologist Nina Sylvanus writes in Patterns in Circulation: Cloth, Gender, and Materiality in West Africa:


To wear this pattern…is both to honor and aspire to be ravishingly beautiful and powerful like Michele Obama; It is considered a must-have fashion piece in the wardrobe of stylish women in Abidjan, Lomé, and Lagos.



The vibrant colors of Butler’s materials also inform her portraits, particularly those inspired by historical figures whose images are most familiar in black-and-white.



Image courtesy of Bisa Butler



"In my work, I am telling the story— this African American side— of the American life. History is the story of men and women, but the narrative would be controlled by those who hold the pen.


Check her out her art on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/bisabutler


all images/words ⓒ the artist(s) and organization(s)
 Artistnote.com , Artlecture.com

☆Donation: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/artlecture

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