Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reworking the past

I always get a kick of how artists rework the past, even when they are attempting to copy it. This isn't a Benin bronze plaque, it's a wall sculpture at Benin City's Saidi Centre (home of arguably the best spring rolls in all of Nigeria). Though modeled after 16th century objects, the artist has altered the head to body proportions. Instead of the head being about a fifth of the total body, it's more like a sixth; the rosettes in the background are raised and so neatly lined up. The figure no longer have that solid, stolid stance; they're at ease. Saidi Centre is full of other examples--fun to compare with the originals.

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