NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayon
The itinerant exhibition "NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayon" came this week to the Chicago Cultural Center, the beautiful former City Public Library. Belkis Ayon (Cuba, 1967 - 1999) developed exquisite craftsmanship in her work about Afro-Cuban mythic society Abakuá. Her images are profoundly unsettling, depicting mouthless black and white characters in ritualistic scenes. It's impossible not to be impacted by the size and complexity of the artworks and her printing process.
The Eyes and Textures in Belkis Ayón
The Abakuá original myth tells the story of Sikan's path after she finds a magical fish from which she learns the secrets of the man ruled society of the Abakuá. She is obliged to silence by her father and the tribe sorcerer, and ends being condemned to death to prevent her from sharing the secrets. Belkis Ayón approaches the story by drawing mouthless characters, leaving to expressive eyes the task of defying the imposed silence of social rules.
Texture in Belkis Ayón are stunning. Black is never only black, and complex tribal textures are achieved through the printing technic that she mastered.
See the ehxibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. Not to miss!