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13 x 19" inch print on watercolor
Archival Giclee Print, approx
Bob Marley: Soul Rebels series
Acrylic, oils, collage, burlap on Masonite
76 " x 19"
"I'm a rebel
Rebel in the morning
Rebel at midday time"
-From "Soul Rebel" by Bob Marley (1945-1981)
Bob Marley, Mr. Soul Rebel himself HAD to be included in this series.
We tend to know of the "One Love" smiling rasta whose image
has been pimped on tees and even lighters, much like the commericialization
of Che Guevarra's. In the process Bob's essence has been removed from
his original radical rude boy status that made his message what it was
and what it still really is. Yes he did love songs, and he did them quite
well as true revolutionaries are guided by love, but my interest in Bob
was in his humble origins in the countryside of (Nine Miles) St. Anne,
Jamaica to the "concrete jungle" of Kingston and how that all
shaped him into the rebel artist he became.
The title of this work "Lionized" refers to how a poor rural
boy, sent to the city, became a rasta frowned upon by the bougeousie and
then becomes "crowned" as the global voice against oppression.
Lionized symbolizes this ascension and is also a reference to the Lion
of Judah, seen on the Ethiopian flag. Bob Marley stands here like a lion
with his mane of dreds in a rude boy stance, pensive, reflective, meditative.
Behind him are the colors sacred to the rasta and promoted by Marcus Garvey
for a new liberated black mindset (red: blood, green: Africa, yellow:
stolen gold, black: the beautiful color of the people). Covering the yellow
stripe is burlap, inspired by the cover of the “Rastaman Vibration”
album. It is a reference to poverty, burlap also being known as “sackcloth”.
Interestingly enough this was the first burlap I ever used in a painting
before going on to create more than half of my recent works on burlap.
The featured lyrics on this piece come from “Redemption Song”:
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can
free our minds." This is the utmost message I wanted a portrait of
Bob Marley to convey.
Marley used his charisma and talent to bring the message of oppressed
people to the global forefront even seeking allies in others who recognized
racist capitalism as the enemy. His influences in England helped bring
a collaboration between rasta/ reggae and the anti-system punk culture,
as celebrated in his song “Punky Reggae Party”. From Jamaica,
to England to Zimbabwe Bob opened the doors for millions to find and raise
their rebel voices against oppression.
For more information visit www.bobmarley.com