Drawn to the Nubian culture, Lina Iris Viktor adds Nubians to her painting works and the paintings immediately oozes the talent and passion poured into it.
Born to Liberian parents, Viktor is a conceptual artist, performance artist, and painter. She lives and works itinerantly between New York and London.
“The multi-disciplinary approach to her work which weaves disparate materials and methods belonging to both contemporary and ancient art forms calls into question the nature of time and being. Her works are a merging of photography, performance, abstract painting, along with the ancient practice of gilding with 24-karat gold to create increasingly dark canvases embedded with “layers of light” in the form of symbols and intricate patterns.
Viktor regards these dark canvases to be “light-works”. Each provoke a philosophical commentary through material that at once addresses the infinite and the finite, immortality and mortality, the microcosm and macrocosm, in addition to the socio-political and historical preconceptions surrounding ‘blackness’ and its universal implications.
Governed by a purist color palette, her work considers the natural laws, hermetic philosophies, mathematic & scientific principles, and seeks to instil a divine order to all around her. She adheres to the colour palette of blue, black, white and 24-karat gold to create paintings, sculptural works, photography, performance works, and installations – Lina Viktor
Speaking to True Africa, Viktor says all her work is drawn from an African or Afro-diaspora narrative. ‘I look at the cosmologies of a lot of different African cultures. I’m very drawn to the Dogons of Mali, to Nubian culture, to Ancient Egypt, and I pull all these cosmologies together with other cultures I am interested in..”
‘My interest is to work with patterns, because I believe that the universe is governed by pattern systems, like the ones that are so present in African textiles, which are communicated through inferred knowledge, rather than literal knowledge.’
Back Stories which began in January and is scheduled to end on 25th April is one of the current engagements Viktor is working on. Back Stories presents a range of contemporary art work exploring the power, beauty, and significations of the human back.
“Since our ancestors first stood erect on the African savannah the back has towered skyward as an inspirational architectural template—providing visions, through skin and muscle, of the vertical spinal cord that is the Axis Mundi of the human form. The back has carried newborns and elders, food and water, wood and cloth, gold and silver. It has provided the strength to build palaces and pyramids, and transported wealth across forests, rivers, and deserts.
It has been painted and scarified, clothed and unclothed, gazed upon and forbidden, touched and concealed. It has been alluring and longed for, signaling possibility and rejection, beginning and finality. Subjected to unimaginable torments in the wake of the Middle Passage, backs retained knotted scars as lifetime memorials to the horrors of enslavement.
The same backs have been turned in defiance against oppressors, and been glimpsed disappearing through the cane and cotton fields as the fugitive set out on freedom’s journey. The back has sported finery and elegance, been sculpted through sports and self-fashioning, and evoked all manner of desire, transgressive and otherwise.
Our primary emphasis is on photography and video work in the visual arts of Africa and the African Diaspora…. in viewing another’s back, might we beinvited to step into an image, and gaze out through another’s eyes, to see what she might see? What landscapes—of pain and remembrance, pleasure and longing, resilience and hope—may be apprehended through our own backs and upon the backs of others?”
Viktor plans include traveling across the African continent.
Infor: True Africa