le Gran' Maitre du Chunga
sequins, beads, glass, stones with monofiliment on fabric
36" x 36"
(photo by Daniel Herron)
© Ron Orpitelli 2001
Of my drapeaux series, this piece most closely adheres to
the symbolic and visual languages of the inspiration
source - Haitian Voudou banners. But with a twist.
Appropriate since those original banners closely adhered
to the symbolic and visual languages of the Catholic
Church - but with a twist.
The prominent figure (similar to the Virgin Mary of
Catholicism and Erzulie of Voudou) has now been
transformed into a male figure representing a creation
deity of my own making. She is the "Goddess of Chunga"
(also known in the parlance of drag queens as large and
flashy costume jewelry), examples of which she clutches
lovingly to her breast. Some of this chunga comes from a
dear friend who performs in drag (and can still be seen
lurking around this piece debating whether or not those
earrings or that broach were in fact actually stolen from
her instead of donated).