Ghanaian-Moroccan visual artist David Alabo – who is known for his “Afro-surrealism” artworks – has created a series of T-shirts adorning tarot card designs, which is part of streetwear label Daily Paper’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
The Tarot Card Capsule Collection from the Amsterdam-based Daily Paper features David Alabo’s interpretation of The Magician, The High Priestess, The Hierophant, The Empress and The Emperor tarot cards in the multi-disciplinary artist’s Afro-Surrealism style, which according to the artist assists in “gaining an understanding of how best to showcase and critique African society through the lens of the strange and fantastical”.
Daily Paper’s Spring/Summer 2020 menswear collection takes on a divination inspired theme, as the streetwear label also launched its Psychic Sense collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, which each sport custom graphics including chakras and healing genstones that inspire you to acknowledge the sixth sense, tapping into the “Rebirth stage, Self-reflection, growth and mindset.”
Daily Paper was established in 2012 by three childhood friends, who strive to make their African heritage an intrinsic part of their design language. In addition to giving back to communities in Africa via charitable initiatives, Daily Paper hold yearly pop-ups in Johannesburg and Accra to sell dead stock to local youth at affordable prices. The idea, they say, is to give back whenever they can to the many places they call home.
Speaking of his collaboration with Daily Paper, the Accra-based David Alabo said: “Daily Paper is dedicated to promoting African culture by honouring the past and its influence on their vision of the future. They push the boundaries and challenge the perception of Africa in the fashion world which is what I aim to achieve in the art world too. It just makes sense that we work together and inspire each other.”
David Alabo has garnered interest from around the world for his unique take on Africa and beyond – his colourful depictions explore magick, animals including tigers and black panthers, headless beings, shapeshifters, spirituality, the universe, and natural landscapes, among other themes.
In an interview with ArtX, David Alabo said: “Whether they are the desert landscapes of Morocco, the bold saturated colours of Ghana or the beautiful architecture of Italy, I feel fortunate to have seen the world. Art is my way of giving back. I feel bound in some way to the universe as a whole, using my art to converse with it and through it.”
Heads, or the lack of them, are a recurring theme in a lot of the artist’s works. He says: “Most people are drawn to faces in an image so to remove that familiar focus point is to allow other elements in my work to take the foreground. Isolation is another theme that I’ve often explored in my works. There is a certain peaceful bliss that one can achieve in total solitude and in the desolate landscapes that surround my subjects.”
With a diverse range of artworks like Panther that depicts a black panther’s head on an African male’s body, Genesis with a tiger’s head on a male’s body who towers over a desert landscape from another dimension, and Hand which depicts the universe and a hand holding a world, it is apparent that David Alabo is inspired by surrealist and abstract artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Basquiat, and music, which he describes as “a constant anchor in my life”.
Image Source: David Alabo and Daily Paper
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com