$59.95

MARY MACHARIA’s Face

Original Medium: Acrylic and Charcoal on canvas
Dimensions: 18” x 24”

The New York Times on March 1, 2009 had an article on ethnic violence in Kenya. The main story featured Mary Macharia, who is ethnically Kikuya. At church one Sunday with her family, another ethnic group barred the doors and set the church afire. Mary was trampled with her daughter on her back as others inside tried to push into safety. Her daughter was killed as they fell into fire. Mary Macharia’s face was burned, scarred and reconfigured by fire.

As the New York Times reads, “The right side of her face looks melted. A glance at the mirror jolts her mind back to the burning church where her daughter was killed a year ago, along with 30 others. / “Some days,” she said, “I hate myself.” Reading the article brings great complexity of questions alongside: of deep human struggles, ethnicity, violence, of faith, and also issues of ongoing fear and self-loathing. Yet, above the article sits a large portrait of Mary Macharia. And what the viewer witnesses in that accompanying photograph is an immediate beauty, a sense of strength. This painting is based on the photograph/portrait.

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Original Medium: Acrylic and Charcoal on canvas
Dimensions: 18” x 24”

The New York Times on March 1, 2009 had an article on ethnic violence in Kenya. The main story featured Mary Macharia, who is ethnically Kikuya. At church one Sunday with her family, another ethnic group barred the doors and set the church afire. Mary was trampled with her daughter on her back as others inside tried to push into safety. Her daughter was killed as they fell into fire. Mary Macharia’s face was burned, scarred and reconfigured by fire.

As the New York Times reads, “The right side of her face looks melted. A glance at the mirror jolts her mind back to the burning church where her daughter was killed a year ago, along with 30 others. / “Some days,” she said, “I hate myself.” Reading the article brings great complexity of questions alongside: of deep human struggles, ethnicity, violence, of faith, and also issues of ongoing fear and self-loathing. Yet, above the article sits a large portrait of Mary Macharia. And what the viewer witnesses in that accompanying photograph is an immediate beauty, a sense of strength. This painting is based on the photograph/portrait.

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