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.



Very beautiful works.

Afriboy said...

Greeting to you too. Thank you for keeping Orokie in people's minds by your posts. Still zero news as to his health and being.