I don't remember exactly when I first heard the story of Sara Baartman,
nor do I recall the first time I heard the term "Hottentot Venus" as she became known but what I do recall is my fascination with her and her life. If you don't already know it, read more here.Briefly, she was born in South Africa in the 19th Century and was taken to Europe in her early 20's to be examined by doctors then shown off in a circus because of her unusually large buttocks.When she died her brain and other body parts were displayed in a museum in France until the 1980's. Author, visual artist and poet Barbara Chase-Riboud wrote a novel based on her life.
Part of the animating force behind my personal work is uncovering "invisible histories" or untold stories. Another book (and similar story) I recently discovered is about Ota Benga a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo who lived in the 19th & 20th centuries.
Here's this week's piece:This one is 6x6, mixed media on masonite panel.
Again, I'll be creating new posts every week, hopefully on Friday but if not, before the weekend is over. If you know of anyone interested please refer them here.
Right now, I'm in Columbus, OH about to speak on a panel: “The Power of Picture Books: Illustrators Who Use Pictures to Speak” for the 17th Annual Conference for American Association of School Librarians, AASL. Also,next weekend, Selina and I will be at the Brooklyn Museum's Ninth Annual Children's Book Fair on Saturday Nov. 14 from 12-4pm.