The Masterpiece

There’s this picture… that I want to paint.

I’ve been building it in my head. I’ve been outlining the edges, the angles, and the shape…all in my head.

It’s a picture… A painting or sketch of a Man. A very large Man. A very dark Man.  A BIG, Black… Man.

…..A huge Man with wide back and solid, pudgy sides. A Man with long, thick legs and very large flat feet. Ample feet with firm, pale, pink soles, and Kohl ankles.

…..A heavy Man with massive thighs that parade scars like tattoos.

There’s this picture… that I want to paint.

I’ve picked out the darkest, boldest, charcoal. The Blackest of the Black ink, and on the floor, beside the easel, awaits the glossiest of soot infused oils that I could find.

See..there’s this picture… that I want to paint, That I have to paint.

I have meditated on it’s view for weeks. Designing and constructing the vision inside my mind.

The image magnifies and multiplies every time I think it. Clear and Direct.  It’s of a Man. This BIG, Black Man! He has a bulbous nose, stout and transfixed. Wild, bouncing eyes that pierce and firmly cling on what ever he sees.

His teeth are magnificent white, gleaming and clean. Fat rosette lips. He’s swarthy and walks high and steady, as colossal hands with coral fingertips dangle and drift; lagging behind him.

This Man, is so big and black. He’s SO BIG and BLACK! Moorish and Southern. Grotesque and Stereotypical. He calls himself a “Nigga”. He speaks of himself as “ugly”…“My ol’ ugly ass”…smirking and corner eyeing me, to weigh his judgement based on my reaction.

There’s this Man that I want to paint

….that I want to feature on a 12 by 12 foot wall, I’d like to plaster his face, his torso…his whole body (actually) on every highway billboard. He’s shadowy, shady, ebony, jet, murky, melanoid, and inked black. Vicious and prude. Scary and Evil. Magical and Malicious. “A thief made of the night”, a Coon, Buffoon, a Buck, a Jig, Bantu, Sambo, Baboon, Darkie, Hambone, Smokey, Mandingo, Boy, and a Nigger. They say he’s dangerous and belligerent. A liar and a Con. A beast with NO beauty.

This MAN that I want to paint. Is a MAN!

Heavenly, Godly, Fatherly, Proud,  A Warrior,  A Sustainer, A Provider, A Lover, He’s a Historian, Griot, Teacher, Preacher, Architect, Doctor, Farmer, Producer, Director, Life-Giver and a Soul Preserver.

He’s a walking, living masterpiece! Trying to blend in and trying to hide. Trying to cope with the lie of who he was told he was.

But, this MAN leaves me desperate. This man leaves me speechless and breathless. He leaves me ruthless and determined.

Anxious to paint him, just so he can see what I see. Just so he can admire what I admire.

I adore him. I pray within the slur of his speech and linger within his smile.

He’s fantastically Black. He’s amazingly perfect. I love him as he is..hued in the deepest-darkest of goodness and greatness. Poured in all the sweetness that Heaven has to offer.

I love him.

Black Man..Black Man…Don’t you know how beautiful you truly are?”


Dennis Rouvre-Lamb

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