Portfolio > Oil Paintings/Charcoal Drawings_Old Time Songs & Stories

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Gourd Banjo 1
Gourd Banjo 1
Charcoal on Paper
24" x 18"

"Gourd Banjo 1" was the first of a series self-portraits drawings playing my gourd banjo. I made this gourd banjo. I discuss its personal meaning to me: as an attempt to conjure my dead father's spirit so that we can continue to communicate, much like the ancestral-worship religious rites of West Africa, The Caribbean, and Suriname. I know this seems pretty far out, and I can't say for sure if I've communicated with him, but at the very least, the inlaid neck and the whole instrument are a tribute to him, conjuring fond memories of my wonderful dad who I think about every day. (For more information about my gourd banjo's personal significance see "Gourd Banjo 4)."

For more information about its broader significance, see "Gourd Banjo 2," "Gourd Banjo 3," and "Communitas."