February 7, 2011

In August, 1987, Jeanne and I moved to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, so Jeanne could teach American Studies at the University of Ouagadougou.  She had received a Fulbright Grant and we had decided to go to a part of the world rarely visited by Americans and one which practised animism among 60% of its population.

I helped choose the destination for Jeanne’s work because of all the African art that I had studied at the University of South Alabama where I took at least one course on African Art, Burkina Faso was the place whose sculptures most impressed me.

I am bringing this up because while there from August, 1987, to the following June, 1988, I completed approximately seventy-five drawings.  Only four were 52″ x 72″ in size, all others were generally a lot smaller.  Of the four drawings made on that scale while living in Africa, one, “Zogona Neighborhood” was purchased by Pauline Julia and ended up in France.  As far as I know it survives today.  I brought three drawings of that size back with me and one, the mask dance piece, was sold to Steve St. Germaine of New Orleans and it survived Hurricane Katrina.  The other two pieces, “Ougadougou Traffic” and “Ouagadougou Marche” were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. 

So the mask dance piece owned by Steve St. Germaine is the only large-scale drawing I made in Africa which survives in the United States. 

Steve is moving to a smaller house and needs to sell this piece.  Trailer McQuilkin, who has been a dealer of mine since the 1980s, is handling the sale.  He is asking $6000 for the piece, which includes a large frame custom-made for it which has protected it all these years.

I am unable to include a photo of this piece at this time.  The photo of it not taken by me will not upload to this site.  However, I can easily access a mask dance drawing made a year or two later in America which would resemble it to some extent.  I’ll include it here. 

If anyone reading this blog is interested in this piece, or having an accurate image emailed to him/her, contact Trailer at 228-875-2900 /Trailer McQuilkin

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