Arts of Barry R Irving
(C) Neo Afro
(C) Afroneo
Neo Afro Genre
Fashion
(C) Awo
Ogbon
Orisha
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Community Folk Arts Central... Art  Moves!

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Community Folk Arts Central Presents "NeoAfro / Afroneo" 

A Contemporary Online Exhibit of "DIASPORA" / African American Artist and Crafts Men



LABEEB   
HAMEED

Featured   ARTIST


For more info e-mal me @ : [email protected] 



  As a son of Mother Africa, my primary influences are African shapes, patterns, colors, and Face / Mask images. 

Abstract African masks, refined, realistic human images carved in Wood 

or those cast in metals were influential models for my early work.














Dean Story Master


 ...Labeeb is a former former student who was instrumental in working on "Foundations of Form"

my first large scale sculpture and Studio exhibit @

"The Down Town Underground" ( Village Square Artist's and Craftsmen's Guild )

So. Salina St. & Washington Ave, Syracuse, N.Y. 1979


Foundations Of Form 1979 / 6 ft section of 16 feet 









Dean Story Master 


The Line Defines like script ... A style uses line marks in a way that speaks to the final mage 

but also, the way lines are combined creates tones and textures ... movement that speaks to the narrative

 in the image ... and express how the artist relates technique to content or affect.


 "if I had to speak for Labeeb this is what I would say ...


I don't title my works but I do work in consistent Motifs that reflect my African American Heritage.

As African Americans we express our relationship to Africa as Diaspora Africans do. That is ... in our Family relationships, and the Greater Community Culture that we participate in and represent as individuals. Three things you might expect to see in my work are African oriented MOTIF ... The MASK ... The Black Woman / Man...


OUR ANCESTORS LOST THE TRIBAL "FAMILY OF FAMILIES" BUT OUR IMMEDIATE AND EXTENDED FAMILIES AS WELL AS OUR FAMILY CULTURE IS OUR PRIMARY BASE OF EDUCATION AND UNDERSTANDING. 


AS WE ENGAGE AND ASSIMILATE AMERICANA CULTURE AS CITIZEN / NATIONALS ...WE STILL EXPRESS AS AFRICAN PEOPLE









Labeeb ... " I am a self-taught artist, having inherited this innate creativity from both parents.
 I hail from Syracuse, NY where I spend my formative years, being influenced by local artists Jack White and Barry Irving, 




My international influences include artists Jackson Pollack, Salvador Dali, Vincent van Gogh, and Charles White ... "






Labeeb Hameed - I have had the privilege of studying under the mentorship of artist Barry Irving. My work has been entered into juried competitions throughout high school and college. Most recently, My artwork had been selected as semi-finalist in the 
Bombay Sapphire Artisan series. Selected out of pool of over 6,000 entrants. My work has been favorably recieved by many professionals in Arts, culture. business and Law...most notably Multi-Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis









Labeeb Hameed ...


...For me, "Art" is a spiritual journey that explores inner thoughts and emotions

and evolving to a higher consciousness. 

Artistic expression represents an attempt to reconcile competing emotions ...

... philosophies, political ideologies, and social morays...




 Dean Story Master ...


... ART IS LIKE A CHANNEL TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS...A CONTAINER THAT WE KEEP FILLING ...





Nature  Forms  ...  Roots... 3rd  Eye ...

Digital /Double Image




My mediums are oils, acrylic, pencil, pen & ink and pastels on canvas / paper.






Concept - "La Tierra" / The Earth




My "style signatures" identifies my imagery and vision ...

but they do not "necessarily define me as a person, aside from my Artistic Persona.



  I incorporate Mask like or Sculptural images and Abstract forms in my Imagery




WHAT EVER AFRICAN AMERICANS PRACTICE THAT IS BASED IN TRADITIONAL ANCESTRAL AUTHORITY?

YOU WILL FIND THOSE WHO ADAPT THEIR CONSCIOUSNESS AND WAY OF LIFE TO THE CERTAINTY OF DUALITY 

IN AMERICANA CULTURE. IT'S CSLLED ASSIMILATION, BUT "FOCUS" AND "CARRYING" TRADITION IN IT'S 

AUTHETIC NATURE DOESN'T HAVE TO FIT A MODEL. 


... TABOOS EXIST FOR A REASON - TO PROTECT. BUT TABOOS CHANGE WHEN PEOPLE CHANGE WITH HISTORY.








There is no conflict in creating African Imagery and Honoring Islamic Cannons of not glorifying the human image. 

... no conflict with ME~! I am a Muslim, my spiritual Tradition. I live in America, a Christian tinted culture.

 As an African American / Diaspora African ... I have a dual culture, we strive to recollect and honor the Struggle 

of African descendants through the consciousness of "Black Art" ... so to speak, 

which is not a medium based Genre but a cross Genre Social Protest movement that dates back to Depression Era America 

and the WPA Projects that employed artists to do public works of Art. From that era, the Black Arts Movement began.


WE are 155 years of Navigating a dual culture...one centered in our African Ancestry and the other the Americana Culture that we are assimilated to. Diaspora cultures always have that duality of maintaining tradition while working for a living in a culture that shades most things Aesthetically African...so it seems~!







DEAN STORY MASTER

 ... when I was in college, one of the papers we had to do was on "Diaspora"

...one of the striking similarities of any culture that relocated to escaped persecution or to 

better their lives, was the common Phrase ..."THE DIASORA PROBLEM"


...Navigating a culture as a minority refugee or immigrant means that you are removed from the very context 

of your known and practiced every day life and way. The majority culture is both resistant and wary ...

both back lashing and accommodating. Who you worship and how you live becomes a focus of society

who is resistant to CHANGE. SOCIAL COMPROMISE replaces social familiarity and the flow of CUSTOM ~!





Islamic INSPIRED Art





Dean Story Master


 I practice the Yoruba, W African Ifa Orisa Tradition. In Yoruba Land, Muslims ( the major culture ) mix with Yoruba

Tradition which dates back to antiquity and who's Fine Art & Folkloric Traditions are strongly intertwined with

Muslim Tradition. So you might see a Muslim man or Woman with "ELEKES". These are the Color coded

glass beaded necklaces that represent the "Orisa" Spirits. Tha is because Oria tradition has an aristocratic and 

Royal Family Tradition that is part of the core of Nigerian history, Culture and Politics. So the Yoruba have 

Modern Kings ( OBA ) and Queens ( Iyoba ) who have religious / ceremonial and class authority.


I met a man in Syracuse in the 70's who was a Muslim and a member of an Ile ( Orisa House )

So though Islamic Tradition shuns the projection and glorification of the human image? ... that is a spiritual

question and Issue that is Nuclear among strict adherents of Islam.


This man was African American and a member of The Black Muslims / NOI - The Fruit of Islam

NOI came to prominence with Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Era. Their brand of Islam at the time was called 

Spiritual Nationalism and the Black Power Movements Echoed similar sentiments of Self Help and

doing for self and kind. they also echoed a growing sense of frustration with American Racism. the unique thing

about African American culture is the diverse political, social and ideological landscape.




















LABEEB HAMEED 


I have explored the THEORIES of FRACTAL GEOMETRY FOR INSPIRATION



Fractal geometry

...can provide a way to understand complexity in "systems" as well as just in shapes. 

The timing and sizes of earthquakes and the variation in a person's heartbeat and the prevalence of diseases are just three cases in which fractal geometry can describe the unpredictable.







the  awesome  flow  of  nature  ...






Dean Story Master 

 when I was 18 I worked on an 8"
X 10' Canvas painting. 
At the bottom i tried to paint fire ... didn't work ...
... didn't look like fire because I wanted stylized fire and didn't know how to get it.

So I
worked and over painted and finally after almost a week, I got the effect I was looking for. I needed the
 Transparency and Movem
ent of Fire that looks hot. In the process, I learned how to paint water and smoky air and
I saw 
the similarity of flowing water to fire, how Fire flows out and up or with the wind.
Water flows in all directions but distinctively horizontal or angular.

EVERY FORM OF EXPRESSION BY HUNAMS IS A REFLECTION OF THE EXPANSIVENESS OF NATURE











ARCHETYPES    of   FIRE






... comment by Barry R Irving aka Dean Story Master ( Admin ) ...


"...I see that narrative in this color drawing by Labeeb. The single Image is mirrored to form a digital double image. The "Doubling" is an attribute of Shango's Nature and it also reflects his signature "OSHE" - Neolithic ( 2 sided ) Celt Axe..."


In Yoruba Folklore there is a deity called Jakuta, who is God of Fire in Yoruba Land. After the Middle Passage the Orisa ( Deity ) Shango played an important part in continuing Yoruba Religion through Syncretization with various Catholic Churches and other sects. Shango who was a real person, a Mythical King  ( OBA ) from Oyo, Nigeria. Shango is known for his tempestuous & Sensual nature. but Shango is also known as a competent leader, business man, scholar and Protector of Children. Shango is a shape Shifter with a dual nature of Royal / Terrible...In the famous narrative that runs through Yoruba culture, Shango infamously burned down his own house . He was a magician wo played with fire. the Story is called "OBA KOSO" ...
 
... a warning that a tempestuous nature can lead to your own destruction...





The King is NOT DEAD! ... 

...is there NOT the call of Thunder?















The   Mask


IYA  ...  the  MOTHER












 ... Dean Story Master ...


... The ways that the face can be portrayed is endless...

  








 Fierceness is a general characteristic of African Mask making and the face as "Mask" / Persona


Ceremonial masks were part of elaborate Community functions where Maskers are professionals portraying historical 

figures persons of rank and power. Spiritual messengers are also part of the general African mask and Dance traditions.


A COMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE ENERGIES THAT MASKERS REPRESENT IN DANCE, GESTURE, IMPEMENTS, COLOR AND EXPRESSION,   IS THAT THESE ARE FIGURES OF AWESOME AUTHORITY, SOMETIMES FER, SOMETIMES REVERENCE...








Ise Di Don - Fiffin - Awon Enia Dudu" 


Many times when African americans are researching African History or Culture... 

terms like this one come through the grape vine or from reading at a time when you remember

 it but don't have a strong context for it yet. The term refers to the Yoruba ( W. African ) 

Sculptural / Design foundation that goes back to antiquity. 



SMOOTH LINE AGAINST INCIZED SURFACE = TEXTURE



The Texture part is my modern projection of the aesthetic. Smooth line is sanded wood, the edges 

are smoothed and that is the fine art technique of refining cut edges. Incised surface is the V cut line ... 

cross hatched  - which creates both a shade and a texture. This combination of smooth surface, incised line, incised forms are monotone color. Also Sculpture is the primary Fine Art Form of the African continent, s this aesthetic covers everything including textiles, another African mansion in the arts.







THE LINE THAT DEFINES


Dean Story Master - this mirror image drawing reminds me of when I start a series where I am expressing human ideas and using the clarity pen and ink to create my shades. After doing work that is technical and thoughtful ... and labor intensive, I always arrive at a stage were i need to led go of representative imagers and go abstract using patterned design ...

heavy against light, straight line shading against cross hatching ...all almost like filling in or coloring. But these lines

 are measured and create both texture and depth. The filled in spaces are not ruled The lines sway between

 close and closer. the consistent "technique" and focus has an end product. 


If you drew this design with just the heavy line and then used advertising tape with different pre prepared line sheets ... 

...it would like very much the same in structure but the shades will be "Flat". If every line is the same distance

then that is a flat texture. if the lines are drawn free style? then they make a shape bend when the lines close up 

in space...so a shape does not appear flat. It creates the illusion of depth and bending shapes 

because the hard lines make your eye see that flow. 











In Nature 


you   see   what   is   "Peaceful"   


along   side   of  what   is 


  "Fierce"


In HeOrder... One Must ...




 - ~_~flow !~_~ -









some times ...

" ... The   Wind   is   Fierce  ... "



To associate "THE FEMINE" with the Wind is a metaphor. Sometimes it matters how you say it or show it. 

But in the Folkloric sense then the subject is not about a woman or the physical feminine. The metaphor is referring to the 

Divine Feminine Archetypes and associations of or to the Forces of Nature. These are the energies that show themselves to be powerful as avatars ...influencers of spirit ... and artists will pick up these symbolic expressions and portray them in a dynamic way.


WHAT DOES THE METAPHOR MEAN? ... IS IT A PORTRAIT? ... IS IT ABOUT NATURE? ... IS IT SOCIAL SATIRE?




 



 As a son of Mother Africa, my primary influences are African shapes, patterns, colors, and Face / Mask images.

 

Abstract African masks and refined, realistic human images carved in Wood ... 


or those cast in Metals were influential models for my early work.





Dean Story Master  


it is a pleasure to see Labeeb's personal style development over the years because time and circumstance

 brought young Labeeb into my studio in Down Town Syracuse, NY in 1979 / 80. I was just starting out after a 4 year position

 as a Mall Store Manager at 27 Years old. This was my first dedication to a full time Studio Centered Art Career manufacturing of my prints and drawings as well as wood carving and carving walking sticks. My company was Conceptual Wood Co.

That business became the Story Master ( Story Master Studios 1 )


 Story Master Studios 1 was a short ( 2 year ) but significant Studio Arts experience as dreamer who actually thought that i could make a living with a few hundred works. I had to learn to contract business and teach for pay ... serve local businesses with my Art And Design HS advertising education.  From it I went into the 79 YCS Mural Movement which provided summer employment for youths as mural Crew Painters and Artists. I "volunteered" to help train the crew at the W. Side Spanish Action League. I eventually contracted to create many Murals for hire. I did work for Syracuse Housing and the old Kennedy Square.

  I supplemented my income by selling some of my sculpture and personal walking stick collection piece by piece. From 1980 to 1985 I sold my Art on the Streets with my friend Badr Serraj. With that and sign painting I was able to rent a 5 bedroom house on E. Colvin St. where I did my studio work. I left for Schenectady NY for a NYS Council on the Arts Grant / Fellowship. 

I became the Artist in Residence at the Hamilton hill Arts Center. In y spare time i developed the drumming program by using my grant position to include functional sculpture ( DRUMS ) and I recruited and trained my first community drumming group.


At the time I met Labeeb I didn't have my program set, but I had a good running start. My present practice of 50+ years has always been multi genre and community oriented which is the Harlem Black Arts / Harlem Cultural Renaissance way of keeping the seed of creativity within reach of community even if you move independently. I know that having had 45 years of volunteer work that is self initiated - that the grass roots experience is the tribal experience. African Art and Culture is social...

We move in the modern world as African Americans, so we have an American Tribal mindset 

which translates to a Universal or International mindset among those who represent our culture 

with their educational, professional and life centered experience.





Detail from "Nana" 

Stoneware Ceramic Vessel 2007

by Barry R Irving aka Dean Story Master




As an Educator with an extensive cross genre history in the Arts,  I take the authority to self define 

and define "What is" from my broad base. My opinions and perspectives are based in life and professionalism


Spirit / Persona / Personal Character / Iwa Pele the notion of good character are what we bring from home.


In the World We bare reflections of our sightedness ...and or our blindness

but those are just terms that describe the actual or the hypothetical




I ALWAYS ASK AN ARTIST WHAT HE IS ABOUT? ...WHAT IS HE OR SHE SAYING?

THE ARTIST EITHER SPEAKS VOLUMES, SAYS A LITTLE OR SAYS NOTHING MUCH ~!


THAT HAS TO BE A GOOD ANSWER EITHER WAY BECAUSE OUR IMAGES DO SPEAK VOLUMES TOO~!





The   Artist  >  on   the   subject  of


public    response   to   my   ART ?


Art “like” or “dislike” is subjective, 

so my aim is to attract, captivate, and spark discussion. 

My art makes a statement that is bold, whether in monotone or colorful, & decorative 


Labeeb Hameed - Artist








(C) Afro Neo  



Folkloric  Arts



( C 2020 )  The  Art   of  FOLK  






"The Artist" is a "CARRIER" of Tradition

for more info e-mail me @ [email protected]





Labeeb  


 Abstraction fits with my perception of Color 


OR Mono Tone ... Forms and Ideas ...