Lot Details

This 'Untitled" (1985) dynamic and celebratory sculpture in the round is by famed Contemporary African artist John Goba. This work measures 34.50 x 19 x 14 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-honoured 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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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Further information unavailable – contact Specialist for details

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • The Artist. Private Collection, USA.
  • Pickup Location: Illinois, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 34.5 x 19 x 14 in. (87.63 x 48.26 x 35.56 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer, Check
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