Every meeting is a precious pearl treasure
One of the most amazing things since I’ve started this blog, is the incredible people I have met. Every meeting is a fortunate unplanned coïncidence at exactly the moment it had to occur; not before, not after, just at the exactly perfect present moment. Also because every person I have met is a little precious pearl that teaches me something, about their experiences, their life, but also things that allows me to understand why I am doing this and why it’s important for me to continue. Anyway, the purpose of this article wasn’t to talk about myself, but as this is my personal space where I can finally express my own opinions about how i see the world, and about all the things I love, sometimes you’ll find some personal references.
Not far than yesterday, walking near to Strasbourg Saint Denis in Paris while I was going to do some administrative
boring stuff, I saw on the floor a little sign about the artist and his exhibition I’m going to talk about today: « La Nuit des Maasaï » (The Maasaï Night) and of course couldn’t be more excited because it was so perfect for our week « printspiration » theme about Africa. So today I ran into Melkart Gallery where the collection is presented until July the 12 (ouf, just on time before I miss it and change my week theme) and met the Artist, Max Amegee.
If i would have to describe Maximilien Amegee I would say he is a « multi-palette person » and one those charismatic persons we will remember for sure. Father, Lawyer, Artist, Writer and Poet, his life is a creative rainbow of not so very different facets, perfectly interlinked between them. He was born in west Africa, in Togo, but then moved to Paris when he was young. Years later he became a Lawyer and he has been involved in many different subjects as intellectual and artistic property, but his developed sense of philanthropy made him to express his artistic side. Concerned about his childhood continent, Africa, he slowly started painting some of his viviv memories reinterpreted as colourful tribe inspiration paintings. For this collection, he studied one of the most representatives ethnic cultures in Africa, the Maasaï and he created « La Nuit des Maasaï » (which means « The Maasaï Night »).
First of all, for general information, Maasaï means « Twins » in their language. So starting from this, the meaning of their symbolic and traditional culture is already very interesting. The complementarity, the couple and the Two as One as a recurrent topic of Max’s paintings that makes allusion to unicity; a constant conversation that connects one mind to another. His paintings are also an ode to Masaaï women; their silhouette embellished by their incredible colourful palette of jewellery, showing their beauty as synonym of power in a society where women have suffered by abusive men. Style as a way to free themselves and express who they really are no matter where they are. As a nomad ethnic society, they had to be strong to conserve their traditional values, their way of thinking and beliefs and not being influenced by the geographical conditions. Never forget where do we come from.
Max Amegee also talked about métissage (interbreeding?), the mixing of two or more cultures and how when we finally embrace the fear of the unknown, this foreign person strange to ourselves, a new universe explodes, a big bang of new constellations born from the obscure, the unseen and remote. Nothing more magical than the diversity of cultures, a juxtaposition of habits, history and different human condition that reveals at the end, that we all have the same fears, anxieties, and we’re all in the same quest of love and happiness. « Every person is a universe and is also universal« , as said Max Amegee.
And I have to add also that, every person has a secret universe, but not every one is wise to discover it.
It was hard to chose which pictures I wanted to show you here because after an extended research about the Masaaï, I just found every single of them so beautiful that I was tempted to put all together here. I have to say that I was in an absolute admiration that almost had goosebumps. As an occidental women living in Europe but being born in a mixed cultural-colorful country as Colombia, sometimes it’s hard to show who we really are. In one hand we decided to live in a different country that we also love as the one in which we were born, we live in one of the capitals of Fashion, Paris, where wearing colours is yet seen with some suspicious regard (look) by some Parisiens. And in the other hand we come from a country where there’s no seasons, so every single day of the year is adorned with a bright warm sun, an unmeasurable variety of vivid flowers and abundant vegetation everywhere, so in conclusion people wear those colours too and it’s part of our inner culture. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I was completely astonished by those Maasaï women who are absolutely beautiful, elegant, so classy and proud of who they are. A different femininity of those women we’re used to see on occidental magazines, but much more powerful and feminine, strong despite their fragility in their society, and so mysterious without showing almost any part of their body.
These colourful jewellery than enhances their slender silhouette, so powerful, so impressive. And with those big eyes that say, confident:
« I am here and I know who I am ».
The Fashion Industry have been very inspired by thess impressive Maasaï women and their mysterious style. I found some interesting Styling pictures inspired by them and also by the African culture.
For more information about each picture above, please visit our Africa Pinterest board.