Charismatic man from East London with Caribbean heritage.
Emanuel’s paintings draw on a diverse range of different influences from his own cultural heritage and other African cultures. His applications of paints, mixed media and waste materials are forceful, creating harsh and brutal images that are often authoritative in their expression. His combination of styles and approaches, that link both contemporary graffiti and art of ancient African cultures and echo the Arte Povera movement, embody energetic slashes of colour that create challenging yet poignant subject matters relating to slavery and present-day corporate mentalities.
Emanuel’s work defies the approach of other contemporary art forms; he advocates the more spontaneous, non verbal and spiritually potent qualities of black culture and expression. Burnt sugar and coffee, spilled like blood across the surface of many works, refer to the commodities which perpetuated the immoral business of oppression and provide the dark hues which so palpably express the grief, misery and desperation inflicted on so many. His paintings also present to us a segment of reality which ties our lives to a history that is reflected in the immediate drama of everyday living.
Many of Emanuel’s projects aim to address the lack of awareness many urban, black British youths have of their own history and the contribution given to the world by their African descendants. Like other social artists, Emanuel has looked at history with the discerning eye of a sensitive critic. In creating a visual record which touches upon issues woven into his black ancestry, Emanuel attempts to expose black, British youths to black artistic and cultural expressions, to expand their knowledge and to develop positive self-esteem, encouraging them to embrace their cultural identity.
As previous exhibitions at the Tricycle Theatre, Brady Arts Centre and Departure Arts Centre will testify, Emanuel’s artistic style cannot be placed into the usual categorisation of contemporary “isms”. Thus, he distinguishes himself as an artist who is highly responsive to the conditions of life that face all of mankind.
Visit Emanuel Instagram to view more of his work:
Vanity Afro, 31/05/2018
Be happy, do the best you can, be good and kind. X