|If you search for
the definition of "oubliette", you will find that it's a type
of dungeon with a single opening at the top. It's literally a hole
in the ground. It derives its name from the French word "oubliez"
- to forget.
In the history of rock & roll there are subjects that many
historians consider to be too sensitive to go into great detail about.
One of these subjects that seems glossed over in my research was the
transition of music from Africa to the new world. Many historians made
reference to the "slave music" and "slave songs,"
but none of them made any attempt to elaborate on how that musical
heritage became the foundation of gospel and blues.
This painting deals with this specific moment of rock and roll history.
A forgotten history.
From all parts of Africa this powerful music was brought to America. It
was a spiritual foundation for people stolen from their homes. It was a
salve against the struggles and abuse they faced in a strange new land.
Beneath it all, however, is a solid strength. This message is the one
that would create a new form of music that would spread across the
world. If we are truly to understand the origins of rock and roll, the
subject must be addressed. History can't be rewritten simply because of
our forefathers' mistakes. Those are the keys to understanding who we
are, and who we should be.