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Biography of John GOBA

Sierra Leone > Arts : John GOBA

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Biography :

John Goba (born in 1944) is a sculptor from Sierra Leone.

John Goba (1944) is one of those marginal artists. Goba lives in Sierra Leone. When he was 30-years old a vision commanded him to make ritual masks. He obeyed. Over time, his masks changed character and became wooden statues. Frightening figures with burning eyes and angry mouths, replete with porcupine quills to emphasise their aggression- Goba's way of expressing his individuality, a way of distinguishing himself from the local sculpturing traditions. And it is exactly this clear line, this refusal to become the type of hybrid artist the West so adores, that will keep him form becoming a member of the faddish art circuit that distinguishes a global artist from the rest. Goba's sculptures, deeply rooted in tribal traditions, exhibit a fascinating beauty, yet they are foreign to most of the curators and artists who have taken it upon themselves to cross borders and travel the world. They do not appreciate the finer meanings in his work, meanings a Western audience is not likely to notice at all. Which is to say that there will always be art that is too 'exotic' for success on a global scale, even if the world is a global village

Last update : 07/24/2007

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