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Extreme Canvas: Hand Painted Movie Posters from Ghana


In the 1980s a group of entrepreneurs in Ghana created small-scale, mobile film-distribution empires, hitting the road with videocassettes, television monitors, portable gas-powered generators and rolled-up, hand-painted, artist-signed canvas posters. This new medium created the first opportunity for some of the best young painters in Ghana to express themselves on a public scale. In the frequent absence of an original image upon which to base the work they had been commissioned to produce, the artists inevitably created cinematic paintings that were largely interpretive and imagination-driven. In the book's four major essays, author Ernie Wolfe III recounts the rise and fall of the mobile cinema tradition, while noted African art scholar Roy Sieber follows two-dimensional art in Africa from rock paintings in the Sahara to contemporary manuals, wall paintings, and barber board paintings as well as the canvas movie posters themselves; Paul Hayes Tucker compares the phenomenon to 19th century European utility-based painting; and poet and art critic John Yau contributes the perspective of an American art historian. In addition, Hollywood film notables such as horror auteur Clive Barker, actor LeVar Burton, actress Anjelica Huston, and director Gus Van Sant contribute chapter introductions.