Sep 4 2011: French African Painting Showing Phones, Musician & Radio Host on Perspex (Yallos, 1997)

Following yesterday’s post showing an Ethiopian Madonna and Child image painted on vellum, I was reminded of this other piece of (probably) French-African folk art that has been hanging on the office wall for several years now. Showing four figures – a musician playing guitar for a radio host, and two others on mobile phones – it’s in a style that reminds me a lot of the cover artwork used on Miles Davis’ On The Corner (1972) and a little of the work of Kinshasa based painter Cheri Samba, whose tendency to use text in his images seems reflected in the approach taken here.

While the painting – made in acrylic on the reverse of a piece of perspex using a similar method to that used in glass painting – is signed and dated, so far I’ve found no information on who that signature might belong to. Presumably an entirely unknown individual producing the image for his (or her) own unknown purposes, but possibly something related to promotion or comment involving an actual radio station: if anyone has any ideas, I’d love to find out where this came from. From memory, it was bought in an Islamic Relief charity shop in Walthamstow around 2001.


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