Tribal Paintings

‘Tribal Paintings’ The Tribal Paintings series of works was started as a direct inspiration from Eugene’s earlier works Tribal Sculptures and the Tribal Performances. He started to envision a series of works which would both call upon art historical styles like Abstract Expressionism and Conceptual Art, but at the same time to create something that would look into the future of Painting, asking questions of what could be done?, what else could be invented and contributed into this foremost artistic practice. He says he wanted to look at painting from a very personal angle, especially with his Nail Paintings and the unusual materials used within much of the work. With this drive, he was ready to challenge his very own idea of Painting, banishing any ideals he had created before, and hopefully that of his viewers about his practice thus far. Within these works, the Nail Paintings were of particularly striking force and power. Often utilizing an array of unusual non-traditional materials (nails, chicken head, black eye beans, stuffed birds, pigs feet, feathers and more) that made them quite sculptural and even possibly pieces of objects in their own right. Whatever ones personal description of these works, they are quite difficult to pin down, as they seem to wiggle free of any particular categorization -Painting is perhaps the closest.

These works were an experiment in forward thinking, abstract, textured, rough and raw, but with a disturbing edge to them, which transforms them into something akin to tribal totems or objects of some voodoo ceremony. One or two pieces have raw eggs broken straight unto their surface amongst the hundreds of nails already crowding up the surface. Delving into his earlier family life experiences of displacement and unease growing up, with memories of what he had seen in Ghanaian cultural films, Eugene channeled his creative forces into what many have described as Dark, abrasive, primitive, tribal, mysterious and even shamanistic. A viewer visiting the first and only showing of these works described them this way, “Its as if the artist wanted to attack traditional art, to push it out of the way so they could give birth to a newer truth and honesty that is so daring with bravery that most artists will be afraid to attempt”.

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