The painting is titled Floral Arrangement. The artist is Wiz, or Wisdom Kudowor, one of Ghana's most famous living artists (another profile). As his reputation has grown, he no longer comes cheap (e.g. you're likely to read "please contact us for the price"). Our parents are lucky to have known him when he was down-and-out and managed to snag a few originals. Even back in 1998, when I started trying to buy a few paintings, Wiz's creations were far beyond my budget. He has a great eye and a distinctive style. We are luckly to be able to peruse online galleries to sample some of his work. These days it's increasingly abstract and there's less of the curvaceous eye candy of yore.
I recently read Jo Ellen Fair's article on The Creation of Valentine's Day in Accra, Ghana. It's a fair piece although it doesn't get much beyond a sketch of an argument about "globalization + nascent middle-class + commercial imperative = Valentine's Day". One wishes she dug deeper into the cultural underpinnings and was a bit more historical. Still one shouldn't complain, she has pointed out a phenomenon that has taken place in the past 15 years. I certainly can't remember Valentine's Day being a big deal growing up. From all accounts, these days the streets of Accra are a confusion of red on the 14th of February and the hype leading up to the day is even more pervasive than in the commercial West. I guess we all want to belong to the global village. The women in Wiz's Floral Arrangement, with their flowing and sheer decorations struck me as in tune with the spirit of the moment.
Soundtrack for this joint
- Wayne Shorter - Wild Flower
Lyrical saxophone and hard bop from one of jazz's great artists and composers off his masterpiece album, Speak No Evil
File under: Ghana, art, culture, globalization, commerce, Wiz, Africa, toli