|Item-Description:||Abstract painting of a cockroach devouring human flesh over the Demerara river|
|Medium:||Acrylic on canvas|
|Country & Artist:||Guyana - Dudley Charles (b.1945 )|
|Dimensions:||172 x 115 cm|
|Provenance:||Purchased from the artist in 1984|
|Condition:||Unframed, titled and signed on the reverse|
|Notes:||Dudley Charles: Born in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, Guyana in 1945, Dudley Charles was one of the foremost artists of Guyana during the 1980’s working along side such artists as Donald Locke and Denis Williams. He has exhibited extensively, including Sao Paolo, Brazil, Lagos, Nigeria, London, England, Nagoya Japan and New York City. Many of his works are in National collections worldwide. He now lives in New York, USA. Several of his paintings were hosted at the Guyana Embassy, Washington DC in February 2017, an event staged to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. He describes his art as an expression of events and images encountered in his life, “I evoke a magical landscape leading the viewer into the spirit world were we meet the ancestors”. Many of his paintings evoke ghosts and the spirit world.|
Guyana 84: This is a dramatic and politically explosive abstract portrait of some of the horrors associated with the Forbes Burnham regime in Guyana of the 1980’s. The composition is dominated (centre right) by a cockroach devouring flesh from a rotting human corpse, but all this set against the beauty of a dramatic sunrise over the Demerara river, Guyana. The cockroach’s body is swollen with human blood. In the centre is a smaller ghostly figure beating the rotting corpse with a long staff. Further left, a second ghostly figure, partly hidden by an overturned empty chair smeared in human blood, is “cracking” a whip. Along the base of the composition are bars associated with a dark and forbidding prison cell.
This is certainly one of the most expressive and intimate of Charles’s paintings and one of his most political compositions. A real masterpiece of modern Guyanese art.