Tuesday, September 23, 2008
A few Gabon paintings before Survivor destroys the country
"Gabonese nun", gouache 5"x6" (SOLD)
Gabon is a beautiful country with beautiful people. There are mud houses and people do go to the forest ("en brousse") for meat but they do wear western clothes and they do live in houses just like us. The TV show "Survivor" is an embarrassment to Gabon's culture. They show nothing of the country's beauty and the diverse people. They show stereotype of what we think Africa is. They kept showing film strips of gorillas and other mammals when the fact is, you have to go really far inside the forest to see them. It took me several months before I encountered a gorilla in the forest. And I needed a pygmy guide to see my first forest elephant. Ah well, what do you expect from Hollywood? Anyway, this painting is based on a sketch I made of a Catholic nun from Libreville. I just sold this painting to a kind woman from Orange County and when I was talking about the painting, my eyes started watering. I have a harder time letting go of paintings of people. But, I am glad they often go to good homes.
"Old Bwiti drummer" 5"x7" gouache
Children in Gabon, especially boys, start tapping on anything rhythmically with sticks. I once saw a 6 year old boy, about the age of my oldest daughter, making rhythmic tapping on a tin wall using a couple of short twigs. Drumming is just in their DNA. This painting is of an old man, about 65 years old, during a Bwiti evening. This was from a sketch I made after another all night eboga-induced ceremony.