Last week my latest review of Simone Leigh’s exhibit was featured on Arts.Black.com. The piece takes a close look at two of the strong influences found in Leigh’s work, the Herero and the Cupboard.
While reading though sources for this piece I came across the fascinating, tragic history of the Herero. This gave me a much deeper appreciation for Leigh’s work and the individual pieces within her latest show. While researching the Herero for my review, the description of their dress seemed vaguely familiar to me, as if I had seen them pictured before, despite the fact that the history of the Herero was new to me. Then I remembered a picture that I had posted to Instagram many months ago. At the time I simply re-posted it from a skincare site because the image was so striking. It turns out the beautiful women in the photo were Herero.
A very small detail, but an important one. There’s something special and powerful about a history that crosses artistic mediums like this. I will never forget the image and I will never forget the art that led me to learn about this important piece of history.
For more on the Herero and the Simone Leigh exhibit at the Hammer Museum: