Garreth van Niekerk speaks to African artist Naomi Doras

2016-10-02 14:00
Naomi Doras (Photo: City Press)

Johannesburg - We discovered the hypermodern portraits of self-described “artist, auteur, illustrator and graphic designer” NomesDee, or Naomi Doras, on the website this week and fell headlong into her pastel-dazed African future. Her images are dreamy and full of fun, super pop, New Aesthetic and post-internet – all at the same time.

The 23-year-old told #Trending this week from her home in Lusaka, Zambia, that Afrofuturism is a big inspiration to the creation of the subjects she depicts, but do they come from the future?

“The beings I draw usually cohabit in spiritual landscapes. I imagine them to have transcended, so perhaps it could be considered a futuristic depiction of the people of now.”

Her palette of infinite pastel colours has come to define this period in what she makes, most of it exhibited online via her popular Instagram and Facebook pages. Why these tones? “Using a restrained colour palette allows me to challenge myself. It also gives a unity to my body of work that I really enjoy.

“I use pastels and mostly pinks because they evoke a soft and dreamlike feeling, while alluding to the feminine and ideas of love,” she says.

Romance runs through the series, at times becoming heady and quite racy.

“I enjoy playing with ideas of sexuality and sensuality, because growing up in an African society, these ideas were not really discussed, especially from a female perspective – they could even be considered taboo.

“I aim to empower my subjects and show a sense of freedom, rather than shunning the idea.”

What is African digital art to the young artist? “For me, African digital art is the use of technology to create artwork and engage people on a global scale, to interact with our stories and to share our perspectives with them.”

Here is some of the artist's work: 

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