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Black Sapphire & MandingoDonald Rodney
Iniva is delighted to announce a new limited edition diptych print by Donald Rodney, produced in collaboration with the Estate of Donald G Rodney.
A leading British artist of his generation, Rodney was profoundly influenced by the work of artists including Eddie Chambers, Keith Piper, Sonia Boyce and others who were re-examining social and historical narratives from a black perspective. Though his work continually evolved, Rodney always returned to the human form deployed through multiple manifestations. He would often explore recurring themes of black masculinity, the body and the stereotyping of the black man as “public enemy”, and an icon of danger, often bristling with unbridled and untamed sexuality.
Photography for Rodney was a technical means to subvert images, deconstruct and reconstruct a set of realities mediated by print and broadcast media, advertising and commercial illustration. Viewed online, Rodney’s sketchbook number 35 from 1990 shines a slither of light on his view how the ‘genuine history of the slave trade’ is perversely romanticised in a form of pulp fiction which eroticised the daily trauma of plantation life.
He made collages overlaying book covers, photographing, disassembling, reassembling and re-photographing to saturate colour and polarise the contrast. Images of people would be cut up, dismembered, and roughly taped together again to create fragile, hybrid, alien and alienated forms. A metaphor perhaps for his own experience of medical incursions transformed poetically through cutting paper creating something more ephemeral and otherworldly.