Pop A. Mr. E Sol'Sax
The Sol'Sain't'Sway: Illuminating Cultural Connections
June 15th - July 15th, 2023
630 Flushing Ave, Bed-Stuy NY
Over 30 years ago, Sol’Sax embarked on the creation of “The Sol’Sain’t’Sway,” drawing inspiration from the Yoruba traditional masquerade known as “Egungun'' which symbolizes both ancestral spirits and hidden strength. Each character in this series emerged from clever wordplay, reflecting the rich tradition of oral puns used Bantu ancestral celebrations. Through Dadaist photomontage techniques, Sol’Sax seamlessly integrates traditional African masks and sculptures into historical portraits of cultural heroes. By synchronizing the figures of African American history with Bantu artifacts and Orisha symbolism, Sol’Sax weaves a tapestry that encompasses visual symbolism and verbal puns. For example, in the piece “Sol’Sain’t Surely Jus Sum Rules And Regulations Are The Problem: For Yemaya nad Shirley Chisolm,” a digitally collaged image features Shirley Chisolm adorned with an ivory mask depicting Idia The Queen Mother from the medieval Benin empire. Sol’Sax skillfully highlights the contributions of Chisolm, India, and the Yoruba deity Yemaya, all of whom fought against oppression and drew inspiration from the forces of nature.
Sol’Sax’s artistic vision ingeniously illuminates the profound cultural links between African American lives and traditional Bantu cultures in Africa. By employing the term “Dada'' to reference these photomontages, Sol’Sax goes beyond its association with the European art movement. “Dada'' also pays homage to a 15th-century prince named Dada from the Oyo empire in Nigeria, renowned for achieving cultural triumph through peaceful means rather than violence. This resonates with the spirit of African American cultural soldiers celebrated in Sol’Sax’s “The Sol’Sain’t’Sway”, who resisted the violence of European supremacy by harnessing the power of the arts. This connection aligns with the anti-war principles of both the European Dada movement and the original Dada of the Oyo Empire.
630 Flushing ave, Brooklyn
630 FLushing Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Hours: Saturday 12-6pm & By appointment
Pop A. Mr. E Sol'Sax