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Afro-Mexi Mix

June 8, 2010

Global Inky

Inky, whose color has changed from black to a figure-defining gray, strikes a late-afternoon pose in the Rancho’s entry area. She’s  part of a tableau that’s a mix of Mexican and African elements, and she fits right in. The Mexican settee she’s standing on, a distressed leather piece that appealed to me because its frame was angular and curvy; is visually open and perfect for the small space it occupies. Hanging above it is an acrylic painting of mine from 2005 called ‘Africa Electrica’, and is based on a famous photograph by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, a Nigerian photographer who shot over 1,000 amazing hairstyles worn by his countrywomen. The lattice-like sculptural ‘do in the piece echoes the settee’s base, and its bright colors complement the worn leather padding. And, speaking of leather, what about that hassock in the foreground?

Hassock majesty

It’s a piece I found several years ago at the Long Beach Flea Market, where else? More expensive than most things I pick up there ($200!), I had to have it. At 21-inches in diameter, about 8-inches deep, and quite heavy, it was too singular to pass up. The seller was not sure how old it was exactly, but I’m thinking it was probably from the 1940s. It’s very distressed in spots and its single handle is almost unusable it’s so worn. The hand-tooled panels that circle the base are a pantheon of grimacing Aztec gods and warriors brandishing baleful weaponry. Its top, shown at left, features a solemn figure, arms outstretched and holding what look to be dual scepters topped with snarling jaguar heads. This block-headed king or deity is the center of his universe and I think he’s quite regal. The tone of the worn leather here is a close match for the settee’s, and its color, too, works well with those in the painting; this serves to bring the overall color scheme to ground-level and completes the tableau. It’s fun mixing things up when decorating, and I definitely subscribe to a multi-culti, everyone’s-welcome-to-the-party, policy when choosing elements for a scheme. And, yes, that includes Mexican poochies!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2010 2:44 am

    LOVE every bit of it…!

  2. Elizabeth Han permalink
    June 9, 2010 7:29 pm

    Wow, Inky’s color has changed. I think your painting is awesome; also, the link you featured to the photographer’s work is great. Everything stands out against the white background.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 11, 2010 3:11 pm

      Inky has changed so much! She’s still got those dark little eyes and that dark little face, so Inky she stays … Glad you like the painting …

  3. Sharon permalink
    June 16, 2010 8:34 pm

    You’re right. The woman’s hairstyle and the base of the sofa look perfect together. Nice match.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 16, 2010 8:44 pm

      Thanks for noticing, Sharon!

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