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Wahalalafia (Pt. 7)

My Talk for Bipolar Disorder

Hey all. 

I’m feeling hungry, but I’m also feeling optimistic. I think Opty has given me an optimism sandwich. I really should stop talking about food, it’s making me crazy  

I think I’ll visit an art gallery soon. I find that I’m so stimulated when I see art. I think what I’ll also do, is rather than just take a picture, I’ll also make a video. 

Anyway, fellow Wahalalafians, do you like art? I find that we tend to like art and expression. I mean some of the most popular artists were Wahalalafians.  I find that art helps people to express how they feel. Well, all I can say is that arts to some people is subjective. I suppose it is not just about drawing, but don’t worry I’m not one of those people that thinks glasses on the floor or a messy bed is art. Art has become so elitist now that it takes away the joy of true art.  Men with interesting beards along with interesting stories seem to want to prove their credentials as a person with their “knowledge” of art. 

Now Kehinde Wiley is a genius. It’s one thing to  know how to draw, and it’s another thing to know how to take historic paintings and turn it into something new. He turns history into his own story. It’s so clever turning a classical painting into a modern retelling that tells a story. 

It is the best way to be anti establishment. Painting a beautiful black woman in the style of a Mona Lisa or Lady Lilith by Rossetti, is claiming back some kind of power that previously was unattainable. We as blacks were taught to “appreciate” white culture, not realising that we should also appreciate and validate our own cultural experiences. Kehinde Wiley does this so well!

Most of his work focuses on just how brilliant and beautiful, seemingly ordinary people are. He chooses strangers from the streets, as well as celebrities, asks them to choose which classical painting  inspires them the most and paints them in that style. It's so clever. 

It’s also touching as well. I know a couple of artists who do the same, by the name of Foluso Oguntoye and Jessica Omitola. Interesting that they’re all of Yoruba descent. (Including Kehinde Wiley) 

Paintings. Sometimes, maybe in my weird mind, I imagine that there is no one in the art gallery, the characters from the various paintings jump out and dance. Imagine that! Mona Lisa dancing with her black counterpart. So clever. 

Art has a way of talking with no words. A telepathy that only certain people understand. I think Wahalalafians have this telepathy. We understand the rhythmic currents in a painting a song, or even a relationship. (I think I need to help my Mum she’s done quite a bit-random thought)

How is it that a painting with so much action can make one feel like crying? I always like to try and understand what’s going on in my brain, when processing things. I know wahalalafia is a brain thing, so what happens when I see a Kehinde Wiley painting and there is an understanding, a connection that is palpable in my mind? 

I’m very sensitive to smells and colours. I’m sensitive to most things anyway. The colours in Wiley’s paintings are so reminiscent of something similar to Valhalla, Nirvana, or Heaven. Joy. Peace and Kindness. Reader this may not make sense to you. Maybe it does, I don’t know. It seems as if the world is turning inside out-Yes Queen reference. 

No, I’m not an art critic. I won’t ramble on nonsensically. Maybe I’m not adequately expressing myself properly. 

There’s something about his paintings that speak to me, that make sense. That’s all.

Thanks. Speak soon. 

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Wahalalafia (Pt. 7)
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