It’s a rare chance to see close, honest and artistic portrayal images of world leaders and Platon’s photography does exactly that. In September 2009, New Yorker Staff photographer Platon set up a small studio off the floor of the General Assembly where world leaders had gathered in New York for the United Nations meeting. He assembled 50 of these Photographs for an article in The New Yorker and more recently his new published book “Power Platon.” We choose to highlight just the African Leaders in Platon’s reveal of these power character personalities.
The anxiety in taking images of leaders in government is well know by photographers. In Africa there often are restrictions in the way one takes a photograph of a leader and some press agents even dictate how to take these photographs blocking one’s artistic value and limiting their results. Platon points out that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked the photographer before the shutter clicked, he said, “make me look good.” Platon gets a small window of opportunity and does quite well with these small moments.
There is an audio narration along side the pictures of Platon describing the moment when he took the photographs, some keywords describe the power individuals as “tough, tense, warm, icy, intimidating and young.” The Youngest and Oldest Power Leaders were both from the African continent, 36 and 87 years old.
Sartorial Sounds integrates both music and style, two elements embedded in every culture past and present. We think it’s important to remember that everyone is an artist in their own right. And it’s the life experiences we encounter that provoke what we splash on our own blank canvas. We assembled seven individuals to partake in this editorial. The finished product incorporates their individual talents such as spoken word, rapping, singing and tap.
A new exhibition titled Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York features the work of Goodman Gallery artists Kudzanai Chiurai, William Kentridge and Sue Williamson.
During the oppressive years of apartheid rule in South Africa, not all artists had access to the same opportunities. But far from quashing creativity and political spirit, these limited options gave rise to a host of alternatives—including studios, print workshops, art centers, schools, publications, and theaters open to all races; underground poster workshops and collectives; and commercial galleries that supported the work of black artists—that made the art world a progressive environment for social change. Printmaking, with its flexible formats, portability, relative affordability, and collaborative environment, was a catalyst in the exchange of ideas and the articulation of political resistance.