Through African Eyes: The European in African Art,
1500–Present



Spirituality and Technology:Traditionally, religious power was thought to grow by the inclusion of spiritual ideas, and some African artists adopted, blended and reinterpreted Christian imagery to serve their needs.

Africans usually admired and welcomed European technologies. Artists here reflect the desire to own or be associated with European technology, but also express caution about its use.

Ghanaian artist Ben Kane Kwei’s 1996 sculpture of a Mercedes Benz, Fantasy Coffin, would have been commissioned to celebrate a life of wealth and achievement, provide an elegant ride for the deceased in the afterlife and fulfill the lifetime fantasy of owning such a car.




Ben Kane Kwei Sowah (Ghanaian). Fantasy Coffin (Mercedes Benz) 1996. Wood, glass, metal, paint. National Museum of Funeral History, Houston.
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