Let’s be unequivocally point-blank. Slavery was the first thing that came to mind when you thought of Black history.
In some cases, it has been the only part of ‘Black’history ever taught to students in their high school years. Mainstream history often takes a Eurocentric stance when it comes to the study of literature, music and art. Unfortunately, this means that we are taught little (or nothing) about our noble Black men and women whom shaped history.
Then European colonialism would be the second most popular theme engraved into the term ‘Black History’, perpetually dulling the coexistence of ‘Blackness’ and ‘nobility’ in art history. Colonialism has pushed the narrative of Black exoticism, making people of colour in historical paintings, especially women, equivalent to beautiful inanimate objects. What is the stance of elegantly dressed Black women painted next to their mistresses in bourgeoisie settings? Or the unvoiced African boy, seemingly honoured to uphold the drapes of his master? Were these European aristocrats, or merely workers for the upper classes? Or both?
It may never be possible to uncover the mysterious voices of these men and women of colour, individually misplaced in their own European paintings, but by collecting the remnants of Black archival information, we are left to make an educated guess of how they may have felt. The honourable Black artists whom lived between the Renaissance and Neoclassical are virtually non-existent in our art history curriculum, and their works, scarce.
‘Black Aristocratic Fine-Art’ is not only a community for learning, but a platform for contemporary artist whom create critical responses to art history via their artistic practice. We dedicate ourselves to presenting to you the unvoiced Black noblemen and women through fervent investigation into the archives. Our ultimate objective is to decolonize what is presented to you as the ‘art-history’ curriculum worldwide.