Charcoal on Fabriano paper
1m x 1.5m
Behind this piece sits a Maori man by the Name of Pouroto Ngaropo who wears the lifetime commitment of his Tā Moko. The Tā Moko is a form of artwork that tells a story of his ancestry, tribe and beliefs shown through a facial tattoo. Hence the name of my artwork ‘A Crowded Table’ which is referring to the figurative meaning of him carrying his ancestors with him, which is converted to a literal meaning of the table being crowded as he represents his family.
Seen by some (as said by himself) the Tā Moko can come across as intimidating or ‘Gang-Like’ as the stereotype goes. So in the early 90’s he decided to commit to the Tā Moko for the right reasons, for the reasons the Tā Moko was originally intended, in the effort to eradicate the stigma behind modern day reactions. Which here, this artwork, is trying to portray...a man with a old tradition, normalized in todays society and wearing his Tā Moko proudly.
By Matthew Griffin
A self-taught realism artist born and raised in West Auckland, New Zealand.