Keba Armand Konte
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With a name meaning “Father Storyteller”, Keba Armand Konte has certainly made it his life work to tell the stories of some of the most important moments and influential people in recent history through his incredibly deep photo montages. Using wood and other materials on which to transpose photographic images, Konte’s works do not only depict great moments in history. These moments are displayed atop a piece of the history itself. Konte utilizes this technique in one of his recent pieces “NOLA’s Ark: Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?” in which he set transparent images of the devastation of Katrina atop pieces of rubble left behind in the storm, creating a material memory.
Konte’s pieces have also served as narrations for the most memorable moments in Black history in the United States, such as the Million Man March and the L.A. Riots. He has also captured political figures like Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Cesar Chavez as well as musical artists like Erykah Badu, Outkast, and the late great Tupac Shakur.
All of these pieces are now featured in his exhibit, “888 Pieces of we”, which is now showing at the Oakland Art Gallery until September 8th. In this collection, Konte demonstrates his talent for conveying history through photography, displaying “photographs of protests and portraits, street moments and political movements, dignitaries and ditch diggers, hip-hop heads and mothers, continents and cultures as well as freaks, friends and family members”*. Through his storytelling eyes, one can see these truthful depictions of the world today, proving that he really does live up to his name.
*from the front page of his website
888 Pieces of We
Oakland Art Gallery
August 8- September 8, 2008
If you like what you see, you can also add him as a Facebook friend