Kiwanuka, 2021
Batik, acrylic - 100х67
Nyeri, Kenya
How does the traveller see it?
(Fragment of a post from a Facebook page)
Who do all the cows belong to?

A Masai tribal leader tells his tribesmen a story about the supreme god Ngai. Ngai created the land, the sky, the Masai and cows. Cows were specifically created for the Masai, and thus all the cows in the world belong to them. If a cow doesn’t belong to the Masai, then this cow was stolen from the Masai, or the cow’s mother was stolen from them, or its grandmother. For that reason any Masai person has the legal right bring a cow back into his possession. Sound logic! The Masai god is no worse than other gods, isn’t that right?
What does the expert say?
“Batik” is a technique for decorating linen, as well as the name for various ways of hand-painting linens. This particular work most likely involves the “cold batik” technique, evidenced by the black contour in all the figures drawn. The main figure on the canvas, as in real life, is the leader of the Masai tribe. The remaining figures are placed in a semicircle around him. Their eyes, expressions and depiction suggest that are fully taken in by the leader. The rhythmic construction of the piece is interesting: the spots of bright coloring on their clothes rotate amongst each other, as if overlapping against the backdrop of the artistically depicted savannah. The vertical spears and ornamentally stylized shields give the piece rhythm. The artist frames the whole scene in red as if to emphasize that red symbolizes danger for wild creatures and at the same time protection for the brave nomads.

Olena Polovna-Vasilieva, artist, M.F.A., Associate Professor at Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine 
Что скажет зритель?