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Assessing African Art.

Imagine that to enhance the decor of your home, you wish to purchase two masks, a small statue, and a piece of African pottery. You know you cannot afford museum quality authentic pieces, but you would like to have objects that are well made and as realistic as possible.

Go online to one of the sites that specializes in African replicas and capture pictures of the pieces you wish to buy. You will need to spend time checking out some of the particular features of the objects such as where they were made, what they were made of, and whether or not there are any notes about the intended original use of the objects.

Compare and contrast each of the objects you are considering as decorative pieces for your house to those authentic items shown. As you consider each of the objects - the two masks, the small statue, and the piece of pottery - make an analysis of how four of the following terms used in art object analysis can be applied to the objects you chose. Use a different term for each object and clearly indicate how the term applies to the object.
Emphasis
Balance
Unity
Form
Shape
Line

Solution Preview

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First of all, as you locate an image, one example is Yoruba-Ife, Nigeria at http://www.arttribal.com/Yoruba/index.html. To me, this piece demonstrates emphasis since its eyes, lips, and ears are highly stylized and exaggerated. Perhaps this emphasis, along with the bronze materials, suggests that a sacred or political ruler was wearing this mask?

Next, I select the Deangle mask as the second piece at http://www.arttribal.com/Dan/index.html

Because of both genders' representation within its form and features, it seems to denote balance. It provides an "opposition between female beauty and gentleness and male fierceness and power" ...

Solution Summary

Some pieces of African art are briefly examined using references to validate.

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