For some, basketball is just a sport. And for those who subscribe to the callous “shut up and dribble” mindset, may argue that it can be nothing more than just that. But for others, the act of a crossover and a lay-up into a slam-dunk is more than an act of athleticism, but something that supersedes sport to the point of being magical.
Enter Lakwena Maciver’s newest series of artwork, presented by Vigo Gallery: ‘Jump Paintings’. This series immediately evokes a sense of nostalgia, drawing a parallel to her previous work “I’ll Bring You Flowers”, created in honour of Senator Flowers’ speech against the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in 2019, prior the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement in June 2020.
The lustrous colours laminated onto the canvas mirror basketball courts, the abstract illustrations melded with spiritual affirmations, a key motif explored in her post works. The nod to basketball legends is in the finer details. Each painting directly references individual players, each canvas fit to their exact height.
“I like 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.” – Lakwena Maciver, Artist.
The political framework Lakwena works from isn’t just a springboard, it’s imbedded into the very fabric of the work. As the sport is beloved globally, many African Americans have found solace in the craft, growing to ultimately dominate the scene over the years. Her work acknowledges the importance of the background, an arguably acts as an ode to its history. In the words of Lakwena she views the series “as an opportunity to celebrate black power, joy, and self-expression”.
The ‘Jump Paintings’ will be available for viewing at Vigo Gallery from January 18th – February 28th 2022 and is split into two parts.
Find out more about the exhibition on vigogallery.com.