Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The art of the cartoon 10:

O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It's so elegant
So intelligent
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
'What shall we ever do?'

The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.


0 0 0 0 that Orokianian beat--
It's so erotic
So democratic
"What shall I do now? What shall I do?"
I shall rush naked and swim the lake
With my shorts down so. And tomorrow? And tomorrow!
What shall we ever do?"

Tea with milk before we sleep.
And if the moon is full, a game all night.
Yes, we shall play a game of chess,
Riding the night and all the stars whilst listening for a knock upon the door.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Closing of this blog.

Since this blog was opened in December 2007 many people have visited it. Approximately, 21, 000 have passed through Orokie's blogs; 66% of these, however, have selected to look at blogger. Some have been kind enough to leave comments, all of which have made valuable reading and shown the range of readers attracted by Orokie's art. Readers have come from 800 cities across the world. Thank you to all those people who took the time to view Orokie's art. Among the many, there are some who deserve special mention. These are the readers who come daily to Orokie's blog, sometimes more than twice a day, to read, or see if there is any news of Orokie. Sadly, there is no news of Orokie. I have tried to contact his so-called close friends, but they have been of no help whatsoever, more concerned with what Orokie might do for them (as an artist) than what they might do for him (as a human being). There seems little point in carrying on with this blog. I did ask for news of Orokie (on this blog) but there was not a single reply. I fail to believe that out of the many who come to this site no one knows what this silence means. The blog will stay open for the next 72 hours, then it will be deleted. Some older posts have been re-posted in their original place, to give a final, fuller view of Orokie's work.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The art of the cartoon 6:

Quiero que el aire fuerte de las noche mas honda
quite flores y letras del arco donde duermes,
y un nino negro anuncie a los blancos del oro
la llegada del reino de la espiga.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black Art.

Back in June, this installation caused a stir in the US. (Strangely, this was its second showing, but suddenly it became a security threat). Lots of views raged around the installation. Was it art? Should art be political? Was this abusing free speech? Was the closing of the installation censorship? But what does this image actually say?

Running along the side of the wall there are two hard black penises. They point, like arrows, a visual joke, towards a sign:


Of course, this puns on the sexual saying “Once you go black, you never turn back.” Black is replaced by Barack. Barack becomes the word Black…becomes the sexual fetish. The imagery is pure Mapplethorpe as are the sentiments expressed. Black political power is sexual power. Sexual power is the Black man's attraction to voters. The installation claims the same thought as Mapplethorpe’s work. It uncovers the Black male. Exposes him. Reduces a human individual to common basics: a hard, erect thug.

This imagery caused offence. Yet, it is exactly the imagery which sells today. The thug stereotype pulls in punters across the internet. The Black male figure is de-sensitised. In recent months, this had come to concern Orokie. He saw sex used as a weapon in Kenya. He saw sexual thuggery at work. (He painted his feelings in images he wished to keep private because he felt the hurt intensely). He could see how looking at the Black male as a thug also involved the viewer in visual thuggery. The sexual gaze is not innocent. How we see and look at others does matter. In his art, Orokie seeks different vision, a humanising vision. The messages sent by art must be responsible. This is not an act of puritanism, rather an act of respect for the male body, spirit and soul.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Western version

African version.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ganymede, Orokie's African view.

Modern view C21.

Orokie, of course!

Traditional view C18.

The image of Ganymede, cupbearer to Zeus/Jupiter has fascinated painters and sculptors for centuries. The images of this myth vary considerably. But all show one thing: a power realtionship. In some, Ganymede holds power and Zeus/Jupiter in the form of an eagle is passive, drinking from a bowl held by the young male. In others Zeus wields power and Ganymede is helplessly caught. There are images which suggest balance, in these man and god stand side by side. All of these images shows what lies within the mythology, the borderline bewteen rape and rapture, how the mind is caught by desire. Most images portray the raising of Ganymede to Olympus as a personal struggle between man and god...the struggle for godhead inside man. Orokie's Ganymede takes another view. Africa/Ganymede chases USA/Eagle. This is a political allegory in which Africa (more specifically Kenya) succumbs to Imperial power in the hope of elevation, of salvation from its troubles. Orokie's perspective is an interesting one. His watercolour shows the size of the male body: he draws away from the tradition that shows Ganymede as a child. This is a man, with weight, making a weighty decision. Seen from a distance, the eagle seems small, a minor power to be trusted. The figure lifted in ecstacy defies gravity, unaware of the real power and the bargain that has been made-- the price of such freedom. Often the backgrounds also carry meaning. Jupiter was the thunder god and Ganymede disappears into a turbulent sky. (The background becomes a gloss on the myth-- it shows that the power rests with Jupiter). Orokie's sky does not show the sky of Jupiter. Orokie's sky is painted as a neutral blue and suggests the blue of hope, a transparency that might not be true.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Light of Orokie.

Watercolour aims for the luminous.

A good watercolourist keeps the light.

This is true of Orokie's work.

He keeps the light alive in his the flesh of those he paints.

His work shines like that of Winslow Homer, one of the first to watercolour the Black male and give the Black male heroic status.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Artist's Compass

Anyone want to sail with Orokie?
Where is the ship now?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Still no news has arrived about Orokie. But I will keep his blog open in his absence, hoping that news will come soon.

This picture was completed recently by Orokie. (Just before the silence). The picture shows much of what was on his mind.

He was talking (at this time) about his early education at boarding school in Africa. He wrote about the school’s repressive regime, artistically and sexually. (A regime inherited from White male colonialism). These view points clearly enter into the first level of the joke. “Boarding Dorm Fav”.

Then, there is a second level. A picture of an up-and-coming model from Sierra Leone with large boots, whose over-sized boot straps resemble wings, is turned into Hermes/Mercury, god of trade and artists. Orokie’s cartoon makes fun of Western modelling and its commodity fetishism…which includes the Black male model.

And the third level introduces something else that kept flying through Orokie’s mind at this time: the African Hermes, the trickster, the left-hand/sinister side of maleness. Hermes makes sharp and wicked puns…” Help them to come good”. This has always been a character of Orokie's satirical art. Turbator, troubled, isn't far removed from Master-bator...a familiar Orokie sexual pun.

Like the fake product, Orokie’s humour varnishes and strips away layers of repression in the name of freedom.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Before the recent silence, Orokie sent this drawing through the mail. It came with a thought: “Perhaps, you might like to dance colours within the lines.” How those words seemed typical of him. Dance. Within lines. Yet break lines. Do something new. Against the lines of convention.

It was interesting to see the drawing for Narcissus I. It brought back many memories. It recalled the early talks we had, the first images of Narcissus, the photographs which Orokie transformed, bringing dead images alive with his own knowledge of the Black male body. A new Narcissus grew. At first, the lost penis was not there. Then Orokie added it…as a naughty joke…but such also added another depth to Narcissus. The inked drawing became a drawing about Black male self-discovery: a self awakening to an alter-ego, the other half (of the androgyne). Somehow, in this work, Orokie captured the sexual longing of a brother for a brother, Black for Black, infusing the drawing with a mythological and historical dimension. No longer did Narcissus merely seek himself selfishly. Instead, he sought for the true lover that eluded him…the other made by his dreams, not the Other manufactured by an alienating history.

Putting paint into Orokie’s drawing was a frightening act. There was the danger of obliteration, that paint might destroy pencil line, that the minor hand might not follow the hand of the master. Truly, there was a thrill in painting, in dancing with Orokie. It was an act close to Eros. As Orokie new when he set the challenge. Orokie’s spirit was felt in the energised tracing of lines.

The final painting, Narcissus II is not a copy of Orokie. He said: “Show me your technique, new things.” Narcissus II is an hommage to Orokie. And that is how it should be.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Keep Hoping

No news is good news. So it is said. No news in this case seems to be neither good nor bad. I would rather go on hoping that all is well than know otherwise. I would rather know the truth than live in a state of troubled imagination. I guess I speak for the many who read and value Orokie's art. But let us go on hoping that something will become clear soon. And while we wait, here is a new work by Orokie. One that he painted before the sudden silence. Enjoy, remember, and hope.

Friday, May 09, 2008

No news.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to contact Orokie for 11 days. Have no idea if this is good or bad. Emails go unanswered and texts. Will post news if there is any soon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

African Justice.

Should art be political?

Can art be political?

How can art and politics fit together?
As propaganda (from Latin, to propogate)... by growing meaning, where the message is all important--message without argument.
As dissemination (from Latin, to seed) spreading information, where the message can be challenged.
As vision (from Latin, to see) showing ideas, where meaning works in harmony with symbols, where the message is transfused (like living blood).

Can the artist who draws the human body do so without touching body politics?
But my art reaches out to touch, to paint the politics of the body, and the mind inside the physical.
Often, my art is political in two ways: it offers, through the body, a vision of the body politic, the dream that might be.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Homoerotic Museum.

Oberholster, Bravo, Simonson, McCarthy.

Andrej Koymasky and his lover, Matt Koymasky, have a big presence on the web. Andrej and Matt have an internet home about themselves and gay history. (This is in English, French and Italian). They also have The Homoerotic Museum which looks at gay art through time and space.

The Black male body does appear in this museum, but not greatly: that is the way of modern art. Though some famous paintings of the Black male form, by gay artists, do not appear in the Homoerotic museum, such as Philpot’s domestic portraits, in the UK, and Tchelitchew’s Black male study, in the USA, there are some fine examples by Bravo, McCarthy, Simonson and Oberholster. (Richard’s work, here, sadly, is the usual distasteful pornograpic view). Now, they have added 15 of my pictures, which makes me very happy, for now there is a room devoted to a Black gay artist that is all about Black male beauty. Thank you, for doing this, Andrej, and for your kind emails…and good luck with the future!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Double Horizon.

These words are taken from Orokie's cd rom of his art work:

Too often, yesterday, today, but not tomorrow, we have lived a double life with our private horizons concealed from the people we really love. So often our high-up has been lived on the down-low. The secrecy of it all fascinates the media-makers, not the pressures we live through and the difficulties we feel.
Too often, yesterday, we became the victims of power: were forced to live the fantasies of other men’s dreams. Too rarely, today, do we find empowerment: create an imagery that expresses our vision. Tomorrow, let us be something more than the past and enter the communities that mean the world to us.
Tomorrow, let my brothers not live through uncertainty. Permit them to come out from their closet of bushes and follow those facts that preserve their roots. AIDS is the shadow that haunts their bright blackness. Their isolation and ignorance are the wings of Izraili.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Artists sometimes like to play with traditions.
The results can often create humour, as well as shock.
This work is by Tony de Carlo who uses Mexican influences.
It shows the heterosexual world of Botticelli interpreted through a gay artist's eyes.
So, the Dance of Love becomes a Dance of Death.

This lastest painting by Orokie returns to Impressionism and Bacon.
The colour palette uses Cezanne's mediterranean blues.
The mercury figure dances in with tea and milk (ah, a typical Orokie joke!) as if he is a Matisse dancer.
And the two figures on the bed echo Bacon's style rather than any particular sexual painting (such as Two Figures, 1953).

The result is a naughty combination of wit and eroticism.
Nicely, the winged helmet of Hermes appears as a comment on the flight of orgasm.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I painted this latest piece.

There was kind of mystery in Saint-Ex missing plane.

I liked to read Saint-Ex's spirit in the words of his book: Le Petit Prince, at French Language lessons.
I list it as my favourite book.

The piece "See the Sea" was done after reading the last news. The small planet is empty. Le Petit Prince moved to the bottom of the Mediterranean sea...

"See The Sea."
'London, Mar 17 : For decades people have been wondering whether French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery's death during World War II was caused by the enemy or suicide. The mystery has now been solved by a German fighter ace who claims to have shot him down and who, ironically, loved reading his books. Horst Rippert, 88, also admits that if he had know it was de Saint-Exupery in the plane, he would never have shot him down even though he was the enemy. "If I had known that it was him, I would never have fired." Times on line quoted him, as saying. "You can stop searching - I was the one who shot down Saint-Exupery." '

Friday, April 04, 2008


Thank you to those people that sent kindest greetings to

My spirit was warmed by them.

I have tried to answer them all, the many, but some were not clear to me. If I have missed some friend out please do let me know and let me have your words so that I can send you kindness back.

Out of the many emails, one came asking me to join a Portrait Blog. I thank that person, but I did not send a portrait.

A portrait is a special thing.

It is sacred, like a name.

It holds the lake of the eyes, and the rainfall of the lips ,and the temple, which is a dome of radiance and spirit.

This is my new self-portait, It is called "I am back".

Do tell what you think.

Feel loved,


Sunday, March 30, 2008

After the tempest.

Hope you are all well.

I am fine.
The day is good and sunny, only our clocks went forward in the night.
We must adapt our bodies to this new local time.
Also I hope I will soon adapt myself back to normal day life.

This Sunday, I feel somehow like a sailor after big storm washed his ship of sails, compass, maps and books.
May be I will need time before I dance my spirit again in good rhythm.

Be good,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

All is well.

Dear, John Powers, Belasco, Pure Cacao Joy, Daudi, Blackstone, Eshuneutics, Sirrond, Grinder and Anonymous... thank you for your kind words on my blog. Thank you to all those others who have kept me in their thoughts and kept my heartbeat within their own. At last, I have returned home. I am in my room once more. I am able to hold pencil and paint brush in my hands again.
The Ancestors say I still am not a man of theirs and so I am able to return to my work and life as it was before. Today, I have painted myself. A portrait. It is my way of saying: welcome back!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A story of intuition.

There is a famous story about Basquiat and Warhol. In October, 1982, the art dealer Bruno Bischofberger took Basquiat down to the Factory to meet Warhol. They had lunch and Warhol decided to exchange a Polaroid of the two artists (taken by Makos) for a Basquiat painting. In an act of one-up-man-ship and hubris, Basquiat decided to go further: he would create a painting for Warhol, a double portrait. Only a few hours later, Torton, Basquiat’s assistant returned with a finished painting. This was Dos Cabezas/Two Heads. Warhol, the master of staging, realised that (at last) he had been up-staged. Basquiat’s portrait of Warhol saw straight behind the mask, capturing his strangeness, awkwardness, voodoo-like attraction.

Recently, a friend told me an interesting story about Orokie. A story that showed similar speed and insight. One night, Orokie asked this friend to send him a picture of a Black Male. The “game” was this. The friend would write down what he saw in the picture. Orokie would respond in images, sending a picture that showed what he “felt” was inside the photograph. A few hours later, a picture returned by email. It showed a sense of hurt, a questioning in the mind of the Black Male. Orokie said there was “a deadness in his eyes” as if he knew what the photographer wanted: sex. For Orokie, it was not a nice photograph. The image was about modelling for money and sexual suffering. Orokie also said that there was illness inside the man, decay, a sense that life was wasting and the end was near. The beautiful face was a Death’s Head. Beneath the glamour of the image there was real sadness. It wasn’t only the speed of drawing that puzzled the friend, it was also the accuracy. The image was of Dennis Speight…by Mapplethorpe…one of the photographer’s casual (for Mapplethorpe) Black sex-partners…and his image was associated with one key work by Mapplethorpe: an installation which combined photographs (with thorn and calla lilies) and a stone Death’s Head in an image of sexual passion.

As fast as Basquiat, and as insightful!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Before Orokie was taken ill, he was working on a major painting called "Prayer". This work (sketch above) now seems prophetic. The latest news is that Orokie remains in hospital, following emergency surgery, and is likely to remain hospitalised for a few more weeks. Thanks to those readers who have left their hopes and prayers on this, Orokie's blog...Orokie believes in the power of heart-felt words to create vibrations and change for the better. To those, out of the 600 that have passed through this blog in the past two weeks, all who are close friends of Orokie say "Thanks" on his behalf. We all look towards Orokie's recovery and future works that enshrine his joy and spirit. To Orokie: blessings!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Let us hope that this will still be the future and Orokie's recovery will be soon. Thanks to those who have sent kind greetings. There is hope still: Orokie has recovered from major surgery and intensive care.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Worrying news.

Dear readers of Orokie's blog,
I am afraid that posts have not happened this week. This is because Orokie has been seriously ill and there is still much concern about his well-being. I regret having to post this news, but do so because I know that people will be wondering why they have heard nothing from Afriboy. Please leave any thoughts and questions on this blog and I will do everything possible to keep you informed of what is happening. I would tell you more if I could, but I have little news except that which I have posted.
A friend of Orokie.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Orokie's Picture Poll (See right).





Dear Readers of my blog, it fills me with joy to know so many like to view my work. Now, if it is alright, I would like to ask your help. I wonder what kinds of pictures are liked most, what styles of drawing attract. I have placed five pictures above. I would be full of joy if you would take time to vote for the style you like most. Then I might know which work sings most to my blog's friends, early, or middle or recent. I thank you for taking time and give you a wave of my paint brush in appreciation. Thanks, Orokie. You may vote for as many pictures as you like.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prophecy: new work!

This is beginning drawing for new work. The work is "Prophecy for Kenya". Words and final image will follow shortly. Be sweet until then, Orokie.