While viewing some of my paintings, you may think to yourself . . . what's the deal with the flying pigs? This depiction is my way of paying homage to my beloved Haitian Creole Pigs.
Creole pigs were a considerable asset to Haitian farmers. They were robust and easy to raise and adapted to the rugged terrain and sparse vegetation of Haiti. The pig’s incredible resilience allowed Haitian farmers to raise them with little resources. Moreover, they acted as literal piggy banks because they were often traded to pay for weddings, funerals, medical bills, school tuition, and the like. Creole pigs were Heaven sent!
In the early 1980s, all of the Haitian Creole pigs were slaughtered amid the swine flu hysteria. They were then replaced by American pigs that hailed from Iowa. These Iowa pigs lacked the resilience of our beloved Creole pigs. They could not adapt to the climate, required imported feed, and expensive vaccinations. As a result, the Iowa pigs quickly died. The forced extinction of the Creole pigs was a major hit to the Haitian economy, similar to the American stock market crash of 1929.
To date, Haitian families have not been adequately reimbursed for the loss of the beloved Haitian pig. So I paint them as angels to remember the days when even a poor man had a bag of gold.
Ceremony Ogu will be exhibited during "Energie Nouvelle" exhibition at Kenekeleba Galley in NYC From August 19, 2015- September 19, 2015