Born in Ethiopia, Skunder Boghossian grew up immersed in the country’s venerable tradition of Christian religious painting. That heritage was complicated and expanded by the artist’s years studying art in London and Paris, where he was exposed to surrealism and its fascination with dreams and metamorphosis. Night Flight of Dread and Delight, painted in Paris, reveals this influence. Like many surrealist works, the painting was inspired by literature, in this case the novels of Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola. Tutuola’s books abound with spirit beings, supernatural forces, and mystical transformations. The painter’s visionary marvel arises from his family background, European modernism, and the Pan-African movement, which encouraged African artists to draw on the creativity of the entire continent.
tags: constellation, animals, meaning, place, subjectivity, stars
Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)