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John Goba (b.1944)
LOT ID: 82360
Untitled, ie. circa 1985

Wood, Mixed Media, painted wood and porcupine quills
39.5 х 13.5 х 17 in. (100.33 x 34.29 x 43.18 cm.)
Signed, by the artist.
Edition Unique
Lot description
"Untitled" (1985) is dynamic and celebratory sculpture in the round by famed Contemporary African artist John Goba. This work measures 39.50 x 13.50 x 17 inches and is in excellent condition. Goba’s imagery is inspired by the traditional lore and mysteries of his environment and his sculptures are a skilful blend of figures borrowed from time-honored tales and his own fantasies. A multitude of porcupine quills invariably protrude from the main characters of his tableaux as seen here, as if assuring their protection and forbidding any access to the heart—or secret core—of the work. Each sculpture, Goba likes to say, has its own private history to which only the artist has the key.

Born in 1944 John Goba was raised in the female dominated Bondo Society in Sierra Leone. At the age of thirty he experienced a revelation which prompted him to begin making masks for the Ode-lay initiation rituals and masquerades that had sprung up in Freetown in the 1970s. Ode-lay masks and dress are characterized by an extraordinary ornamental exuberance, incorporating unexpected materials (such as Christmas tree ornaments) to achieve spectacular effects. Goba’s first masks, made of wood and brightly coloured with industrial paint, initially followed Ode-lay customs. As he became more experienced, he began to create sculptures with greater freedom. Over time his masks changed character and became wooden statues.
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Untitled by John Goba
  • Untitled by John Goba
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