In celebration of the late Nelson Mandela, I decided to create a monochrome “salt crystal” portrait in tribute to an iconic leader.
Inspired by the work of Vik Muniz (1996 “Sugar Children), this portrait was created by overlaying salt crystals onto a nitro image transfer. The crystals’ thicknesses were altered by the artist in order to bring out shadow and highlight depth in the portrait. Aside from the theme and texture, the salt also creates the granular texture evident in film emulsion and print enlargements found in analogue photography.
Mandela dedicated himself to the fight for democracy; he was a unique person and truly salt of the earth. His legacy will forever live on.
Statement taken from the Rivonia Trial.
“The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices - submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defense of our people, our future, and our freedom. During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”
- NELSON MANDELA 20 April 1964