Archibald Motley’s Art

Archibald Motley Jr. is one of the African America painters who is renowned all over the world because of his work. One of his popular works is entitled ‘Blues’. The ‘Blues’ work of Archibald Motleys is my favorite because of two things: one, because of the socio-political message the painting evokes, and two, because of the artistic style that Motley features in this particular work. The socio political meaning of the painting refers to the feeling of fusion that the painting evokes.

If the audience of the painting will know of the background of the painting, then the audience will understand how the painting symbolizes the ability of music to bring together people from different parts of the world with different origins and inclination. The title is pertaining to the type of music that originated from African Americans, and during the time Motley composed it, it was a tribute to a part of the global music scene that is growing in public acceptance and enjoyment.

Like what Shuman pointed out in explaining the relevance of the painting, ‘in the hands of artists like Hughes and Motley, the blues were a potent force in both popular and high culture’ (Shuman, 2002, p. 739) The aesthetic appreciation for this particular work is focused on Motley’s ability to pay tribute to the creators of such music by designing in the composition in a way that the black acts as a dominant feature of the painting, broken by the colored images of the dancers and the musicians and their clothing and the instruments.

There is a sensual and fluid feeling that goes along with the painting, prompting the audience to get a glimpse of the high that comes along with the dancing of the blues because of what the curve lines evoke. The prevailing black patterns seem like references to the Black ancestry, origin and lineage, since the painting is a tribute to the success of one of the types of music that they introduced to the world. This is as much a reflection of his pride for his skin color. Being an African American himself, the painting speaks of how Black people are fusing with the rest of the world in great fluidity.

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