Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Art , MoCADA, BRAIDS, Shani Crowe's, KOLUMN Magazine

This Chicago Artist’s Photo Series of Haute Coiffure Is on View at Brooklyn’s MoCADA

This Chicago Artist’s Photo Series of Haute Coiffure Is on View at Brooklyn’s MoCADA

If you find yourself in the NYC area, then there’s still time left to view Chicago-based artist Shani Crowe’s exquisite photo series BRAIDS currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Art (MoCADA) Museum until July 10

ERIN C. J. ROBERTSON
   |     OKAYAFRICA  
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“…each portrait can be appreciated at face value,..”

BRAIDS is a 10-piece collection of Crowe’s labyrinthine cornrows, drawing from different time periods, that she describes as, “an amalgamation of inspiration from ancient artifacts, traditional African braid styles, popular culture, and Afro-futurism, filtered through my perspective” in her artist statement on MoCADA’s site. Adding, “each portrait can be appreciated at face value, but the imagery conjures a specific nostalgia for African American women who remember both having their hair braided and braiding someone else’s.”



SHANI CROWE
ARTIST – Chicago
Shani Crowe is an interdisciplinary artist from Chicago’s south side. She received her BFA in film production from Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications in 2011. Her work is centered on cultural coiffure and beauty ritual, as they relate to the diasporic African, and how these practices function as tools to foster connectivity.
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Despite what white media publications would have you believe, Crowe’s style of intricate braiding isn’t called “box braids,” and it’s not a new trend started by Kim Kardashian. Cornrows’ long history originates on the continent, and it’s an art form that has been used to denote African identity and status from religion to kinship and ethnicity to age as well as communicate cultural values and social bonds between generations and among friends.

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