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?