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.



How are you? Where are you? my friend Orokie.

BronzeBuckaroo said...

beautiful and inspiring homage (your words make it all that more uplifting to the soul).

BronzeBuckaroo said...

Thanks for letting me know about Rumi.

Ingmar said...

Where is Orokie?