Moon gold leaf, nails, Havana Ochre, coffee, earth and hibiscus on lumber core wood
100 x 100 cm
Zo, which means ‘’ardent fire’’ in Fon ( Gbe, Niger-Congo), is a striking portrait of a man set against an intense and radiant red tinted background. Over the past two years, Alexis Peskine started incorporating a myriad of spices in his work including hibiscus and curcuma from Zanzibar. In days long past, Zanzibar was the entry point to East Africa from the Indian Ocean. Arabian, Malaysian, and Indian aromatics were exchanged in this trading hub. Peskine’s figure appears inflamed yet espouses a solemn demeanour and stares boldly at the viewer. For the artist, the fire represents the injustices he has witnessed from an early age and conjures the memories of pain and trauma which remain instilled in his subconscious. Zo also epitomizes hope and perseverance through dyeing his canvas with hibiscus flower pigments which bear both soft and resilient characteristics.