This is Penthesilia the first of many paintings I will be doing addressing the fate of the Amazonian Indians. The girl's tribe is the Karajá and like many of the indigenous peoples of Amazonia their livelihood is in danger. Her home is burned by cattle farmers who would see the rainforest in ashes for a cow. But there is another enemy that could prove more destructive. It is the large South American engineering company Electronorte, which has made plans to create a dam that would place her territory under 40 feet of water.
The Karajá do not paint lightning bolts on their face. I adapted the symbols on her cheeks to mimic the logo of Electronorte (www.electronorte.com) She is marked for extinction. The goal of this piece was to express as strongly as possible the feeling of sadness and anger that one feels when their home and traditional way of life is taken from them by a distant economic machine. I've seen artists who wear a similar expression. 16x20 acrylic on linen.
24x48, oil and acrylic on canvas. This is a piece I created for my friend Lisa Kang over the course of last year. The left half of this painting is derived from a sketch I made at her house of some potted plants. The colorful area toward the center hides an abstracted version of the Haitian voodoo symbol for Papa Legba. Legba is perhaps the most important voodoo god because he must be acknowledged first at ceremonies. He is the operator that must be called before conversations with other gods can occur. He is the cross road between mortals and deities.
Legba's wife is much more obscure and secretive in nature. Her name is Adjessi and I know almost nothing about her except that she often stands at his side and helps support Legba who hobbles with a walking stick. This piece marks the beginning of a trend in my work I plainly call Hipster Tribalism. More to come...