Ba’s densely textured paintings intertwine African and European histories to explore the corrupting effects of wealth and power and their impacts on communities
This is the first monograph on Dakar- and New York–based mixed-media painter Omar Ba (born 1977), whose surreal scenes of violence and fantasy draw from a wide and often dark portfolio of themes: despotic warlords of the present, traditional folklore, colonial oppression and the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. His most abiding theme is the experiences of Black communities, both within America and across the globe. Ba articulates all these narrative threads through a densely textured visual language, applying oil, gouache, crayon and India ink onto rough, readymade surfaces such as corrugated cardboard. After preparing uniform backgrounds rendered in black paint, Ba populates the scenes with an abundance of fantastical beings—part human, part animal or plant.
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