Rooster Fight Painting by Agnes Meintjes

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Art Description

Painting: Acrylic, Paint, Ink, Pen on Paper.

This piece was shown at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California in 2016. The composition includes two roosters, facing off in battle, each ridden by a very tiny human being. The female rider wears a blue and gold uniform with a tall, fur covered black hat while the male rider wears a red suit and a wee bowler style hat. The energy of the piece is reinforced by an explosion of colored confetti dots.

Roosters are seen as good luck symbols in many parts of the world; the sarimanok of the Philippines is something like a mythologized rooster, the Lithuanian goblin, Aitvaras, also manifests as a rooster, offering both good and bad luck to the inhabitants of a home in which it chooses to live. Nowhere are roosters more tied to an individuals personal good (or bad) fortune than in Bali, where illegal cockfighting can cement or destroy a mans standing in the community, and financial well being in the space of a few moments. In these fights, a mans virility is closely tied to the performance of his rooster, and if it happens to lose its fight, his opponent will be allowed to cook and eat it - a rather unsettling symbolic triumph over the other individual. This piece was inspired by our reliance on luck or coincidence as human beings, our unwillingness to accept random outcomes. The two individuals “riding" the fighting roosters are relying not on their own actions to settle their dispute, but rather on animal familiars over whom they have little control.


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Rooster Fight

Agnes Meintjes

United States

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