Monday, November 17, 2008

A Gift from Me to Me

I treated myself to a birthday gift today and bought a painting. It was on display at a restaurant where I met missionary friends for lunch. It stared and stared at me till I took the plunge and bought it. (Very uncharacteristic of me, BTW. I do not buy art on the spur of the moment.) Now it's staring at me from the shelf at the missionary guest house where I am till tomorrow.

It's by the Kenyan artist Rix Butama and is called "Kiss of the Executive." I love the bizarre combination of colors (earth tones and bright colors), the contrast between abstract and realism, even the contrast between the stained glass windows in the back, and the matted look of the animal's skin in the foreground. And I love the contrast between what each of these represent. Anyway, I like the picture.

Now, I simply need to know where in the world I'll hang it.

I guess I'll say, "Home is where I hang my reticulated giraffe."

It is indeed a male reticulated giraffe. And you thought a giraffe is a giraffe? Just like a zebra's not just a zebra, there are different kinds of giraffes in Africa. Different kinds have different markings. And different habitats. This particular kind is found almost exclusively in Northern Kenya. And in zoos around the world, of course. How do I know it's a male? Both male and female giraffes have two horns, but as they grow older, the males have calcium deposits that grow on their skulls. Thus, the lump on its forehead is a third horn. They get two behind their regular horns, as well, so an older male giraffe will seem to have five horns. Just some fun trivia from Africa.


  1. oh it's beautiful. I love it!
    He's in church! ;)
    I didn't know the bits of trivia about the giraffe. Thanks...

  2. :) Thanks, Rhonda! I'm so glad someone else thinks he's beautiful.

    The comment that he's in church made me chuckle.

    And I love sharing trivia about all kinds of things, especially things relating to my continent.

  3. I love how the artist has made the stained glass look so realistic - all bumpy and glazed from being formed. And how the giraffe looks so soft, like you could almost see the individual soft hairs on his neck.

    Good for you for buying a piece of art, supporting the artist and capturing something of your time there.

  4. I love the picture! It's quite striking, really, and I like the colors. Glad you are getting enjoyment out of it. :)

  5. As a collector of giraffes, I'd say you have made a real find!

  6. Someone really needs to update her blog ... And weird, I could've sworn I'd commented on this post before. I even remember writing about how much I loved the painting and stuff, but now I don't see the comment here. Weird. I guess Blogger ate it.

  7. Hey, I just looked at your blog and like this picture even more now. It is so cool. Do you have it out or is it still in the box? Sherri

  8. Thanx for the buy n support.The executive is my country's politician (considered above the rest and can see far)who once elected is difficult to contact.For the common citizen,its like trying to kiss a giraffe!
    The Artist,Kenya.