5 Major Characteristics of African Art

Posted by Sadigh Gallery on 4/3/2015 to Ancient Artifacts and Culture
A lot of people are fascinated with African art because of its unique features and designs that reflect the rich and diverse culture and history of different African tribes and places. This type of art comes in various forms such as sculptures, masks, paintings, and dolls which you can purchase for your personal collection or to decorate your home or establishment.

These are the major characteristics of African art:

Stylized Realism


When you look at different pieces of African art, you'll notice that many resemble the human figure or sometimes combine humans and animals. However, they are not depicted realistically but with stylized designs. For instance, dolls may look like human beings with disproportionate body parts.

Dynamic Form


Elongated necks, enlarged heads and arms, pointed breasts, and the like are often found in human being forms which are frequently the subject of African art. These are examples of the notable dynamic forms in this art, representing vitality, power, and boldness of humanity.

Elaborate Details


You will also discover how African art exhibits fine craftsmanship, with the elaborate details done obviously with precision and skill. Indeed these things are the ones that also contribute to the distinct quality of the artworks.

Geometric Figure


There are plenty of African art pieces that show geometric themes, figures, and patterns. In a mask, for example, you can see a recurrence of ovals, circles, and curves that work together to make the overall effect more striking and unified.

Youthful Appearance


Part of African culture is the emphasis on health, vitality, physical strength, and youthfulness. This is why a lot of human figures shown in the art displays youthfulness. This can be traced back to the ancient times when many Africans lived off-land and had to be strong enough to hunt, build, and perform other duties.

Indeed African art has a unique beauty and intensity that appeal to many people. Check out our interesting African art pieces from numerous tribes, kingdoms and cultures and also enjoy the ancient artifacts we offer.