Conflict, Contradiction and Consciousness: an artist’s evolution
Buchanan was born in
Her early work, mostly still-life, landscapes, and portraits,
clearly followed the great European Masters of 15th century, but
Milly developed her personal style of Afro-Cubism in
the late 70’s. Reminiscent of Picasso, Braque and Modigliani--her favorite
artists to date--Afro-Cubism was her shattered-glass art expression of the
social-political turmoil in
uses the African concept of “Self”--meaning oneself, within one’s tribe, and
one’s culture and land--to express her observations as an artist. Her work
became influenced and affected by the culturally uprooted society in
The 27 oil paintings in her “Crying-out” series are Milly’s purest afro-cubist expressions and reflected the social, political, and economic turmoil that engulfed the Americo-Liberian society. The tumult drove Milly to other African countries in search of a common-denominator to art forms, and found inspiration as an artist caught-up in conflict, contradiction, and consciousness.
Truly a renaissance woman, Milly is also an architect, a conference interpreter and translator speaking five languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and English), and a former model (including September 1971 Ebony Fashion Fair poster-model, Essence Magazine). Milly’s extensive sub-Saharan Africa life, coupled with her personal and professional relationships with Africans from all walks of life (the late President Sekou Toure of Guinea to recording artists Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba to uncelebrated market women, students, farmers, and fisherman) have produced a unique perspective from which to artistically represent the essence of the African struggle and spirit of resilience and hope. Milly is also a founding member of the Union of Liberian Artists an organization that creates a forum for the exchange of personal experiences in various refugee camps, motivates young self-taught artists to develop their skills, hosts art exhibits and promotes their works.
since 1998 as Advisor on International Affairs to the former President of