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.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Angelic Art: Orokie's Angels.

Angels, as images, are ancient beings that enter many religions. By name, they are messengers, intermediaries between lower and higher worlds. (They are mal’ach Hebrew, malaaikah, Arabic). The Hebraic angels of the Kabbalah and The Bible are mysterious forms. The angel mythology which spreads through the world today mainly descends from Catholicism, whose imaginative art codified the nine groups of angels.

The angel is a strange image, from linguistic roots. It grows from masculine nouns. Angels themselves are given powerful masculine roles. This is most true in the Protestant world of Paradise Lost: warriors (Michael and Gabriel), advisor (Raphael), overseer (Uriel). And in the Catholic vision of Dante's Divine Comedy where angels are powerful mover-intelligences. Yet, the angel, as a being, is thought to be androgynous, with a feminine beauty. The Sufi Ruzbehan Baqli described Gabriel as “like a maiden…with hair like a woman falling in long tresses…like a red rose.” This feminine aura is typical of Pre-Raphaelite art which created male images from female models and pictured angels as non-erotic beings.

There is, however, an erotic core to angel mythology. This exists as Eros/Kama in Greek and Hindu mythology. In Greek mythology, the winged Eros is a god without body: Psyche must not behold him, she is taught to know him through mind/psyche. In Hindu mythology, Kama Ananga is about to release his love arrows when Shiva burns his body alive, thus showing how the mind must reach beyond physical desire. These myths portray an elevated sexuality—a winged sexuality. It is a view connected to contemplation and imagination.

In gay art, today, sexy angels are as numerous as the host of heaven. The deification of Beauty by gay art reflects the religious tradition of beautiful angels, but also the superficial worship of Beauty (mainly White Beauty) among gay culture. Just a glance down the art pages of eBay shows how seller and buyer meet through the sexy angel image, the “Adonis-Angel” stereotype, which shows about as much knowledge of mythology as it does of art! The youthful nature of angels (Eros-Hermes) is bastardized into boy-cult worship. Is parodied and paraded in paradisal angels with carnival strap-on wings:

Is changed into a gratuitous voyeurism that is off-set with religious overtones. Sickening:

But black angels do appear in this White world. At the most cynical level there is this:

Here, a Black Boy-Adonis is given a penis-halo. The figure is nothing more than a sexual object. His spiritual qualities are confined to what he might do with his cock (ring). A thug-image is finished off with evil black wings, black bat-like appendages: think Dore’s Satan or Gothic vampirism. And this black magic chocolate delight is painted in China, cheaply, on demand, to supply the West’s voyeuristic tastes. Forget being set on fire with angelic conversation. Meeting has become meat at a barbecue.

At another level, there are artists that represent a deeper mythology. Such as this watercolour that shows the angel Samael (Satan) in a double manner: fallen, yet holy, a Black angel that has fallen in the eyes of culture, yet one maintaining a dignity of self.

And there are photographs, such as this by Menfesawe-Imani (from the Black Angel Project), that recognise the spiritual with the Black image and locate the angelic within a mode of seeing.

In the angels of Orokie, Beauty is very much to the forefront. But the angels of Orokie possess a very different quality to those within prevailing White gay culture. They are vital beings. In this image of Sandalphon, whose name means the sound of the foot, whom Orokie also calls “Amini”, the Brotherly Guardian beats with a heart beat that is also a drum beat from Africa as it calls the foot into dance. His phallic wand bestows life and he is a symbol of the spiritual energy within brotherhood. ACTIVE, DIMENSIONAL, CONFRONTATIONAL, he is far-removed from the effete and badly drawn angels of fallen culture. As spirit made him, so he asks to be viewed by spirit. He is spirited in the true sense of the word: Black spirited, a testifying angel, erotic in the contemplative sense (of Eros/Kama Ananga). This Sandalphon requires the viewer to feel. In Orokie's art, his angels are symbols, they bring messages about embedding feeling in human life, not just eroticising what might be done with a beautiful boy in bed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chess Master-beating

"In a true game of chess there are always two minds at work and..."

Jeu des échecs

Jogo do chess

Juego del ajedrez

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Conversation with Orokie.

I: What would you say are the pitfalls when drawing?

Orokie: Knowing when a work is finished. It is my weakness. It is very hard for me to detect when to stop and when to step further.

I: That is a real challenge with art, not just painting, but with writing too. Too much interference and a work can be killed.

Orokie: I’d say over-cooked. Sometimes I would stop, fearing the wrong finish. I keep a number of drawings resting, that I would look at over a period of time, and see if the finish is clear in my mind. Then I apply what is needed.

I: Yes, I do that sometimes. With painting this is truer. I find with writing that if I leave work for long time then the impetus goes and I finish mechanically, without much heart.

Orokie: Can you imagine how many dustbins go filled of mine with wrongly over-finished drawings?

I: They are lucky dustbin men! Tell me, when you draw, do you use right-hand or left hand?There is a link between handedness and brain-function. I am just curious.

Orokie: I am right handed, but sometimes I use both hands to make art.

I: Ambidextrous.

Orokie: some drawings I do with left-hand alone.

I: Much like a footballer then…I know you play and like football a lot…you use all-round control. Do your drawings differ in the time they take?

Orokie: Some are quick.

I: Yes, I’ve seen those. An image sent to you and an hour later a painting comes back. You are faster than Basquiat!

Orokie: Some take 6 hours…and some more hours than I realise. Many hours. I am slower than I sometimes think. Here is an example of left-hand drawing...