Romare Bearden: Afrikan artist, writer, photographer!

by Malaika Kambon

Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden, born on Sept. 2, 1911, in Charlotte, North Carolina, was an African-American artist and writer. He worked in several media including cartoons, oils, photography and collage.

Educated at New York University in 1935 and at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Romare Bearden worked during the artistic periods of social realism, modern art during the Harlem Renaissance.

His style was complex and layered. He worked in photography, oil and watercolor painting, edition prints, monotypes and, once, even sculpture – and actually began doing photomontage in the 1960s. He loved abstraction and figuration and was influenced by European artists as well as his Afrikan roots and often drew freehand to jazz and poetry of Afrikan artists.

It was during this period that he wrote, “A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present,” which makes a critical impact upon classic art but also paves the way for the younger generation of Afrikan artists who have made major contributions over the past decade – and continue to do so.

This will be explored in future articles – because it is exceptionally important that we listen to our Afrikan artists. We who spread knowledge and Blackness rising – work hard to counteract the stereotypical, demonization of Afrikan images while celebrating our overlooked and often contrasting photographic works.

Malaika H Kambon is a freelance, multi-award winning photojournalist and owner of People’s Eye Photography. She is also an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) state and national champion in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2012. She can be reached at kambonrb@pacbell.net.

“Southern Recollections” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“Southern Recollections” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“The Street” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“The Street” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden

 

“The Blues (It Began in Africa)” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“The Blues (It Began in Africa)” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“The Train” – Collage on paper: Romare Bearden
“The Train” – Collage on paper: Romare Bearden

 

“Pittsburgh Memory” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“Pittsburgh Memory” – Photomontage: Romare Bearden
“Serenade” – Collage and paint on panel: Romare Bearden
“Serenade” – Collage and paint on panel: Romare Bearden