The Gate of Ritual / The entrance to the male body

Osotwa (1)

This painting in watercolour crayon belongs to a pair.

This illustration is a transitional work, standing between Orokie’s watercolour crayon work and the change to fine art watercolour.

Osotwa (1) is the first in a pair of erotic colour drawings.

That this work belongs to a pair is highly significant because the drawings are concerned with pairing: an act of sensuality that makes two people as one.

In Osotwa (1), Orokie shows the beginning of this ritual. With eyes closed, the two figures locate their desire through dance. And their navels interlock. This drawing by Orokie is a representation of the Platonic androgyne…with a noticeable difference. If the European androgynes of Plato were male-female… ridiculous sexual parodies… the African androgyne is male-male, sexually tender, complete in its act of consummation,

The setting for Osotwa (1)/Umbilical is a sacred grove.

The backdrop is reminiscent of the false Africanism found in modern gay photography: a huge tropical leaf, an exotic flower, a twisting vine. Yet, in Osotwa (1), the slightly naïve background imagines the innocence of the African spirit, a world before fall, a first awakening into the inner world of sexuality and love.

Osotwa (1) shows the primal gay innocence that modern art has tried to recreate. By showing Eros within a sacred grove, as a liminal act within nature, Orokie suggests that this act of love is an action, is dynamic, and is not socially constructed, but something given by the world of spirit.

This drawing is a fine example of erotic art, an art that does not replace sex with romantic glitz and one that does not show sex as a violent act from which tenderness is removed. It is within the honesty, truthfulness, sweetness of experience that Orokie’s art flourishes.



In my mind I have a drawing of a primal friendship.

It was a friendship between boys, cross-cultured and undreamed.

His life was founded on the cut of the knife as mine was founded on uncut flesh.

One day we sensed one another with our centres.

With our navels we sensed the passion in our spirits.

I touched his heart as he touched mine.

A3 size Watercolour Pencils