Describing himself as a ‘solitary wanderer’ (The Divine Comedy Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, p. 240) Pascale Marthine Tayou’s work is heavily influenced by his extensive travels and his struggle with personal identity. Known for showing no preference within the wide variety of mediums with which he works or the spectrum of themes he chooses to tackle, Pascale Marthine Tayou has created a broad range of visually enticing works that have been exhibited all over the world.
Okwui Enwezor says, ‘Tayou’s work is fundamentally built around the question of what an African aesthetic and artistic practice is, and what its medium of communicability can be’ (Okwui Enwezor, Yilmaz Dziewior, Pascale Marthine Tayou, I love you!, 2014, p. 32). When observing a work created by this Cameroonian artist, it becomes evident that he is a master of manipulation. Tayou is able to work with a variety of materials, creating elegant and interesting forms that distinguish him from his peers.
Cache-Sexe is an excellent example of Pascale Marthine Tayou’s ability to utilize and manipulate found objects and recycled materials to create beautiful forms. Hanging off from the sculpture are additional amulet-esque found objects. Bottles with various inscriptions on the outside, some referencing perfume, also dangle from the work. With pieces of beaded fabric hanging down from an appropriated mask, this wall mounted assemblage can easily be read as a sort of anthropomorphic being. The title of the work, Cache-Sexe, a garment used for the purpose of covering a person’s genitals, also lends itself well to this reading.
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