The art of Daniel Minter comes from a soul at home at the crossroads, at home where ancient ritual and future possibilities hold the hand of the present, at home where prayers and soul songs are made concrete, where the rooted artifice of his history can transform everyday tools into sacred objects and everyday people into sacred subjects.
In the folk magic of many cultures, the crossroads is a location “between the worlds” and, as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place. Symbolically, it can mean a locality where two realms touch and, therefore, represents a place literally “neither here nor there.” || In Minter’s work, the crossroads is a permeable, timeless place, migratory and manifold, coming into being through a brushstroke or carved line, coming into being through an observation or conversation full of possibilities. I often link artists of Minter’s generation with the crossroads because I see them looking back while moving forward in their art, and the longing and connection they have with the elements, the earth, the born and reborn, the ancestors and the elders. I also see the reconstitution of an unsentimental pride necessary for the long road ahead. || Coexisting in the works of Minter are ancestors of a living and mythical African past, ancestors of the antebellum past, and the elders of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement, born in times of fire and turmoil. I see orishas, loas, ghosts, and gods in the midst of a universal love supreme sharing space and time with sharecroppers and farmers, loving country living without shame, rooted in a divine dignity and the celebration of a life born out of survival in the face of death and downpression. Minter’s art bears witness to this and to the future as well, to the unborn spirits of the rainbow in constant conversation with a Diaspora of holy ghosts. With the assured hand of a master carver, printer, and painter and the assured mind’s eye of a ritual visionary, Minter makes art that makes us whole, that makes us reflect on what has been and can be lost, and what can be found and will be gained by holding on.
Kevin Sipp | Hammonds House Museum