Archive for September, 2008

Introduce Beauty to Your Home with African Tribal Art

Monday, September 29th, 2008

African Tribal art is priceless as its unique style is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The timeless beauty of African art is fast gaining popularity in various other countries too. Adding African art to your home is a wonderful way to bring the beauty of the continent right inside your own home.

Here are some points to know how African tribal art can become the centre of attraction in your home.

  • To ensure that your art collection remains cutting edge give importance on buying only the original African art pieces.
  • If space permits, dedicate an area of a room devoted exclusively to African art pieces. It would give a unique touch to your home décor.
  • Highlight the African tribal art piece with additional sound and visual elements. You can add some visual effects that coordinate with the type of art pieces you have in your collection.
  • Africa is a large continent and each of its tribal ethnic group has its own distinct cultural beliefs and practices. Hence, if you are purchasing more than one art work, be sure that it gels with the others. If the selected African art pieces complement each other, their beauty will be enhanced many times over.
  • Give importance to the proper maintenance of the original African art pieces you buy. If you have an original oil painting, make sure it is not hung in a room which has fluctuating temperature. For masks and sculptures, proper dusting on a regular basis is a must to maintain them well.

How to Preserve an Original Oil Painting

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Buying an original oil painting is easier than preserving it intact for years to come. If you have bought an original painting either from an art gallery or an online art gallery, you need to take some essential tips in learning how to preserve it well so that it remains like its original self for a long time.

If you know how to preserve an original oil painting, it is not all that difficult a thing to do. Here are some easy steps you can take to preserve your original painting:

  • Fluctuating room temperature can ruin the oil painting completely. Hence hang it in a room where the temperature is normal – neither too hot nor too humid.
  • Pay attention to the back of the painting too. Regularly clean its back by using vacuum cleaner or soft brushes.
  • Any type of smoke be it from a cigarette, small little candle or fire, can destroy the painting. Hence, the room where you choose to display the painting shouldn’t have a fireplace. And don’t ever let the smokers puff cigarettes near the painting.

The simplest thing you can do to preserve your original oil painting is to clean it regularly and keep it away from dust. Never use any rough piece of cloth for cleaning it. Always clean the painting with soft brushes, moist cotton wool or soft micro fibre cloth.

The Mask: A Vestige of Ancient African Tribal Art

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Tribal art forms come alive in all kinds of ethnic and artistic art pieces such as figures, statuettes, sculptures, ceremonial objects, and particularly in African tribal masks which are quite intriguing.
The heart and soul of Africa reflects in its unique tribal masks. These masks are known and recognised the world over and are particularly valued by art collectors for their uniqueness and appeal.

For centuries, they have been used for various kinds of African rituals, celebrations and tribal initiations such as crop harvesting, war rituals and other sacred ceremonies in Africa. They are an integral part of the attire, African tribesmen and women don for performing these various rituals.

In these rituals men and women alike put on masks, wore traditional clothes and sang, danced and prayed. The entire village participated in the ceremony. Music and prayers rant the air.

According to African tradition, the purpose of these ‘masked’ ceremonies was to communicate with dead ancestors. As part of the ritual, a dancer wore the ceremonial mask and while dancing without a break, he went into a deep trance where he communicated with the ancestors.

Usually, some learned man accompanied the dancer and deciphered the message simultaneously when the dancer spoke out something which was believed to be important messages from the dead ancestors.

Tribal masks were made from different materials ranging from leather, ivory, shells, wood beads, brass and metal. These traditions which have been handed down by generations through the ages ensured that each mask had its own particular significance.

Some masks were used to ward off evil spirits and some masks symbolized the celebrations. Families took pride in their masks as they were believed to be the dwelling place of their ancestors.

Each tribal group had its own type of masks. Some of these tribal groups included:

  • Tikar
  • Bobo
  • Fang
  • Kwele
  • Teke
  • Chokwe
  • Puna
  • Beta
  • Igbo
  • Toma
  • Bamoun
  • Songye

Even though the usage of tribal masks has declined drastically and masking rituals are not so common anymore, art collectors all over the world consider tribal masks among their most prized of possessions. From being part of private collections to items of home décor, African tribal art has always enjoyed immense popularity among aesthetic people and art lovers. You can check out our online art gallery to look for enchanting tribal masks to adorn your wall or add to your art collection.

4 Points to Know Before Buying Original Paintings

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Paintings are expressive and meaningful. And for every art lover, possessing a good collection of original paintings is a dream. Buying art is an investment. A painting by a young painter which you may have bought purely on instinct may turn out to be a prized possession in later years if the painter becomes famous and a collector’s favorite. Therefore, choose original paintings on the basis of what appeals to you and what looks good in your home. Here are some useful tips to help you select good, original paintings:

Decor
While buying a painting, keep in mind the décor of the room in which you are going to put up the painting. Choose a style which matches well with your living room or bedroom. If your room is stuffed with a lot of furniture items then it is best to go for a simple design, without too much clutter or complexity. And if the room is modest then pick up a painting which has got some action to it. Whether you wish to put it up in the living room or your bedroom, in the end it should complement the entire décor of the room and not look out of place.

Size
The size of the painting should complement the entire room. If you like a large painting, make sure it does not look disproportionate in your living room. On the other hand, if you have a spacious living room, then putting up a small painting will be pointless because the painting would be lost among the other furniture items. Choose the painting keeping in mind the size of the room you plan to put it in.

Reflect your personality
A painting should be a reflection of your inner personality and the person you are from the core. You can browse online art galleries which contain some of the most amazing artworks. Check them out and you will surely find something which suits your taste be it African, European or American painting.

Painting to gel with the wall
The painting should blend perfectly with the wall on which it is put up also and not just with the room. If the wall is dark-colored, then a painting with light shades would look great. And if the color of the wall is of a lighter shade, then go for a deep-colored painting. In case you adore a light shade painting and your wall is light too, then get the wall painted in a dark color. Or an easier option would be to frame it in a dark wood frame. But never, ever let go of an original painting you like. You might not find it again.