Margaret Rose Vendryes
Jamaican-American (b. 1955)
Yoruba DeeDee, African Diva, 2012
Oil and cold wax on canvas and paper
Yoruba DeeDee (featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater) is a work from the artist’s African Diva Project, which explores the role of gender in African cultures and in contemporary society. Each square canvas is modeled after an LP cover featuring a Black female music legend wearing an African tribal mask. While these masks are traditionally danced by men – even when representing female deities or ancestors – Vendryes uses them to empower the divas, giving these dynamic female performers agency and protection by replacing their psychological masks with literal ones.