Made of charcoal and archival paper. I work in charcoal because it allows me to make quick impactful sketches. Charcoal is the only thing I had mastered at the time being, so I didn’t have much choice over mediums.
In the process of creating this work I wanted to achieve a look that said: I’m a badass, don’t mess with me. I was trying to introduce a new technique that I learned from observing contemporary masters in the industry and I failed to implement it. I tried to erase my mistake but it was too late. Days later I just figured that these mistakes could be interpreted as a representation of imagination and reality. A character that was present in reality with us for a short period of time, but now, he was only present and alive in our memories and imaginations. I just picked a title that inspired me. Looked for an image that represented what I wanted to say, drew it in two days, then created the writing as the backstory. I covered the character’s eyes in black in order to say that he’s now an ancestor, far away from the human world.
3. Final Thoughts
In this piece I’m investigating the impact the ancestors have had on the human world. I was able to describe Africans as proud, rebellious people who are strong enough to handle their own business. Whilst making it I learned about Rwandan’s unique hairstyle. And I also learned about Rwanda’s king’s history. ‘African Rebel’ tells the story of an African man and his struggles with dealing with his human nature. If you pay a closer look you’ll see that there’s a ghost and a bean. The bean represents birth. The ghost represents the passage. The viewer is looking at a Rwandan king. At the time I was creating ‘African Rebel’ I was investigating African Hair, and I was looking for images of pre colonial Africans that looked genuine. The character in the drawing is not from precolonial Africa, but , he represents the importance of knowing your history so you could shape your future. He purposely dresses in traditional clothes, something that you rarely see in contemporary traditional African clothing. To me the most important thing is to showcase how things were done before colonialism happened. I invite the viewer into the ancestor world. I’m presenting Africans here as an outcast. People who have rebellious natures and are capable of extraordinary things. Different from what you see in the media, where Africans are only shown as poor, dirty and in need of help from foreigners. ‘ African Rebel’ is a combination of compliance and rebelliousness.
‘African Rebel’ is one of my most popular prints. It’s limited, but you can still have it by clicking on the button below 🙂
African Rebel 2021
printed on Giclée Hahnemühle Pearl
Rwanda ( 1931 -1959)
‘African Rebel’ is about our ancestors. It tells the story of chief RWUBUSISI RWA KIGENZA and his struggles with refusing to be humiliated by foreigners. If you pay a closer look you’ll see that there’s a ghost and a bean. The ghost represents his passage from human to ancestor. The bean represents the seeds he left in the world. ‘African Rebel’ tells the story of chief RWUBUSISI RWA KIGENZA and his struggles with dealing with human nature.