|David Zukas "Kulungugu House Painters" 2007 private collection|
David Zukas (b.1970) is a multi-media artist based on Staten Island, New York. The well-known sculptor Patrick Vilaire is his father-in-law and artistic mentor. Zukas says of his own work, "I have been an artist and educator for over twelve years, traveling and studying regions most affected by the African Diaspora from its origins in West Africa to final destinations in the Americas such as Haiti. My most profound learning experience as an artist was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana. I taught in the Ghanaian public schools and helped to develop markets for local artisan work. The culture of the Ewe people is now woven like kente cloth into my artwork. Africa has immensely impacted my work and is a predominant theme."
The figures in this drawing depict Ghanaian women practicing the ancient art of painting geometric designs onto traditional mud wall houses. While Zukas was teaching in Ghana he was allowed to briefly participate in this traditionally female art practice, and also allowed to take photographs of the women in the act of painting, from which he has created several pieces of his own work which celebrate their art.
Zukas says, "If technology has made us a "global village"- then it is going to take the entire village to raise this child." The artist's website can be seen here.