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Romuald Hazoumé

Arts of Africa

On View: Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
While Western artists have historically often attempted to represent a person exactly how they look, many African artists instead have created portraits based on a specific physical or personality feature of the subject.

This terracotta head, most likely depicting the oni, or king, of ancient Ife, shows that Yoruba sculpture was already highly developed a thousand years ago. Ife court art interprets the human figure with extraordinary naturalism. This head, however, is not intended to be truly representational or realistic. It shows the oni in the prime of life, with no imperfections.

Fiegnon is composed chiefly of a discarded oil jerry can. Although Fiegnon may appear to resemble a mask, Romuald Hazoumé has noted that his works are, in fact, portraits—of particular individuals or of social types. With its long braids, this work represents a Fulani man Hazoumé met fishing in the lagoon where he found the oilcan.

The striking differences in style and materials in these two portraits may also reflect a marked gap in status and power between their two subjects.
MEDIUM Plastic, fiber (possibly synthetic), metal (copper wire)
DATES 2011
DIMENSIONS 11 x 8 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 20.3 x 21.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed with black felt tip marker on the inner proper left edge, "Fiegnon 2011 H2HA 2000"
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
CREDIT LINE Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Romuald Hazoume
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CAPTION Romuald Hazoumé (Beninese, born 1962). Fiegnon, 2011. Plastic, fiber (possibly synthetic), metal (copper wire), 11 x 8 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 20.3 x 21.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 2014.32.2. © Romuald Hazoume
IMAGE front, 2014.32.2_front_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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