Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Iscariot Blue - Ofili's Parang

Paranging at Ofili's house

Iscariot Blue, a group of parang players on a veranda and to the right, a man hangs from one of the rafters. The image of the parang group was lifted from a plaque.

At the suitable distance exhibition at Softbox, 2006, Chris Ofili shows his work,
Iscariot Blue, 48x199 ins (2006). It is a portrait of parang players and of an execution set between the mist and foliage of a darken moonlit evening. The work is beautifully painted and the meaning behind it may be a complex mirage hidden over a palette of blues. The figures look like a naive cartoon and this is a quirky style which is distinctly Ofili. Curiously enough, Iscariot Blue has a textual appeal to Vincent Van Gogh. If this was Ofili's intention to emulate the Impressionist painter, his work may be read as having a familiarity that seems important in the history of Art.

Iscariot Blue
is provocative, musing and relating to black people and the subjects are part of a Trinidadian custom, whether or not if Ofili understands it fully. It is a reminder of what he thinks of this mystifying place, and how he treats a candy store full of untapped ideas readily to export.

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