"The Karo Man"
9 x 12inch ~ Oil on Panel
I did this oil painting of a Karo tribes man for the Warehouse of Contemporary Art show. About 3,000 people make up the Karo tribe, who live on flood retreat areas by cultivating the land of the Omo river in south western Ethiopia. The original photo was taken by my friend Mr. Al Sadrpour, who ventures to these remote areas of the world, which are often very hard to gain access to.
The Karo people paint their body and faces with white chalk, charcoal, ocher and red earth. The women of the tribe even scar their chests by making razor blade markings in order to beautify themselves. If a man shows such markings it means that he has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal during a hunt.
I applied paint very heavily on his face, which is a bit lost in this photographic reproduction in order to reconstruct the type of application a Karo man might have done. It gives the painting real dimension and makes it interesting.