Zak Ové reinterprets lost culture and mythology using modern and antique materials, playing tribute to both spiritual and artistic African and Trinidadian identities. His practice is an observation of African...
Zak Ové reinterprets lost culture and mythology using modern and antique materials, playing tribute to both spiritual and artistic African and Trinidadian identities. His practice is an observation of African culture and its rebirth away from the African continent – in Diasporic communities such as the Americas, Caribbean and the UK.
"Hand’s Up", 2019 is a sculpture that portrays a black male figure on a Lambretta scooter, appears to tear through the wall. It is made almost entirely from Lambretta parts, with an African mask recast in graphite.
Ové uses modern materials to reinterpret traditional African figures and sculptures- in what he describes as “new world materials for old world concepts". Ové’s reinterpretation of mask and sculpture making traditions from Africa - where ebony wood is typically the material used – is both a physical and metaphorical re-casting of African sculpture, using both materials around him and new technology.
"Hand’s Up" also arouses a sense of nostalgia. Lambretta scooters were all the rage in Trinidad in the 1960’s when the Island received its independence and there was a euphoric sense of emancipation. The artwork's high energy captures that sense of freedom and yet, as with much of Zak’s practice, there is a nuanced socio-political statement - the title betrays its duplicity. "Hands Up", whilst empowering and uplifting, hints at American gun culture, police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement.