Keith Morrison, Zombie Jamboree, 1988, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund and the Director's Discretionary Fund, 1990.76
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012
In Zombie Jamboree, Keith Morrison combines imagery taken from both African and European sources. The strange creatures in the foreground recall stories of voodoo rituals that the artist heard while growing up in Jamaica. Many of these tales involved creatures or spirits rising from the water, and here a floating figure eerily emerges from the pond behind the animals. The fantastical ghosts dancing in the background were inspired by Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw, and the floating figure conjures the tragic character of Shakespeare's Ophelia.
Luce Object Quote"I wrestle with ideological tensions between African and European values in my work (as I do as a person)." The artist, quoted in Keith Morrison: Recent Painting, March 10-April 28, 1990, Alternative Museum, New York City
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62 x 69 3/16 in. (157.5 x 175.7 cm.)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund and the Director's Discretionary Fund
- Landscape – tropic
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