Oil on Wood Panel, 48" x 36"
Rosales entwines the motifs of Baroque art and Greek and Roman mythology with historical events to create an allegorical painting of Africa under attack. The dramatic work was inspired by the myth of Hercules and Antaeus. In order to defeat Antaeus, who drew his power from the earth, Hercules lifted the giant off the ground, squeezing him to death. In Ambushed, Yemayá represents Mother Africa in the role of Antaeus; she is being ambushed and lifted from her source of strength—her land, her culture—by the seven European and American powers whose coordinated and planned pillaging of the continent and its resources during the 19th and 20th centuries that set the world stage for racial capitalism. The struggling figure of Yemayá echoes Giambologna’s late 16th-century sculpture of the Abduction of a Sabine Woman in Florence.
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