This post first appeared on I-D
Given the cultural significance of Black Panther and the universe it inhabits, we asked five visual artists to respond to the film and its themes through art and photography.
Capturing the spirit and energy of Marvel’s Black Panther, here five accomplished multi-disciplinary artists create unique work that interprets, reimagines and celebrates the afrofuturistic themes of the film, and share the inspirations behind their pieces.
Trevor Stuurman photographs and creative directs a shoot that captures the magical creativity of Africa. Loyiso Mkize plays with recognisable African aesthetics to create a cosmic imagination of the titular Black Panther. Mike Toney highlights the strength of the protagonists through vivid illustration. Osbourne Macharia creates stunning imagery of the “three blind elders” of Maasai. And Nikolas Draper-Ivey designs a captivating portrait of the characters.
Watch our film with the Black Panther cast.
“Black Panther showcases the power of women in our continent’s history and that was the true inspiration behind the art created. Africa is full of inspiration and I believe it is definitely out there now. There is magic at every corner and it is safe to say the continent is a fervent creative furnace.”
“The piece is my interpretation of the Black Panther, the protagonist, as mantled in a fantastical outer worldly composition pulling on recognisable African aesthetics. Behind our hero crowning him is a cosmic representation of the Wakandan and Black Panther spiritual law.”
“T’challa: That moment when T’challa turns on his warrior instinct. The lighting to me represents all the previous panthers giving T’challa their blessing.”
“Women of Wakanda: Each of their stances speaks to that character’s personality. I wanted to highlight strength, power and ferocity of the warrior women of Wakanda.”
“Let the World Burn: Killmonger’s Formidable Rage. He wants to see it all burn… with no remorse.”
“The project gives more light to three of Black Panther’s most trusted advisors and members of his inner circle. Having been rescued by the king himself, and adopted into the Wakanda kingdom, the three blind elders brought in a vast knowledge of cultures and tribes, after having wandered in the desert of North Africa for years. Exposure to the metallic element Vibranium, which is only found in Wakanda, made them blind but also gave them extra ordinary abilities and insight.”
“I’m extremely grateful to be able to contribute to something like this. Black Panther is an important film and the name carries a real weight, history if you will — so I knew right away that I had to pull out all the stops. It was challenging, and the process was humbling to say the least, but I’m pleased to see that people like it.”