London based Lakwena Maciver’s series of ‘Jump Paintings’, can be currently seen at the Vigo Gallery (SW1Y 6BU, London) reflects iconic legends who graced the basketball court.
Her artwork comes alive with electric designs and bold bright colours to represent hope and optimism. London, Paris, Munich, and LA are just some of the locations in which her work has touched to communicate her passionate vision of “redemption, decolonisation, and paradise”. The scale of her reach over the past years has also included the Tate, Somerset House, Southbank Centre and Covent Garden, as well as The NY Bowery.
Her statement from the gallery explains how she likes the notion of the basketball court “as a platform or a stage where the players become almost like superheroes… The heights that they soar to… it’s like they are flying, somehow able to rise above the limitations of this world.” She goes on to share: “This is especially poignant for me given that basketball is indisputably dominated by African Americans, and their style of play has shaped the game.
Going back to her roots, Maciver’s Ugandan father, who spent the formative years of her child in East Africa, became engrossed by basketball’s politicisation. For example, she explains: how “The ‘slam-dunk’ for instance, one of basketball’s great crowd-pleasers, could be seen as a physical manifestation of Black power. So much so that it was banned in 1967 for ten years, coincidentally after a year of Lew Alcindor’s domination of the game,” she explains. “I see these paintings as an opportunity to celebrate black power, joy, and self-expression.”
You can explore the recurring motifs that appear in her work in person, as the ‘Jump Paintings’ can be viewed at Vigo Gallery now until February 28th 2022.