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“Bull #14” (print)

“Bull #14” (print)

Regular price €200,00 EUR
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The Bulls aka the Smoked Beef Series

Limited reproduction (1/x) by Frank Nicolaï

42 x 59,4 cm

The original series is autobiographical in nature and based on a personal experience in Swaziland, where I stayed in the early 1990s. My only means of transportation was a Yamaha motorcycle, an Enduro type that allows you to ride both on and off-road. I often rode to Lobamba and Mbabane and back via the King's Road (MR3). This was a relatively 
quiet and beautiful route with beautiful views of the Lobamba Mountains, past the king's palace in Lozitha where his royal homestead with his many wives and children was also located. Returning one evening from a friend's home in Lobamba, my headlights failed. My turn signals, on the other hand, worked well enough. The road is not lit and at night it is pitch black, especially with a new moon. With the little light from the blinkers, I could still effortlessly see the broken center line on the asphalt road, and orienting myself accordingly, I drove home relatively slowly. Suddenly the line stopped and I bumped into a dark mass. I flew through the air and landed heavily on my right little finger whose nerve had been hit. I must have collided with a bull (or a cow) which then took off quickly. The cattle in Swaziland usually have dark fur. They literally lie down on the roads at night because the asphalt holds the heat of the day's sun well while the earth cools faster.  The roads are not screened with fences that keep cattle off the road. During the day, you often see cattle walking or crossing such roads, but at night, therefore, this poses a danger. If the road is well lit with your headlights you can judge this danger well, but if you have hardly any light you cannot. An expensive lesson.

I then incorporated this experience into a work on paper with acrylic paint and ink. This became The Pilot Story. You can clearly see the motorcycle, a bull and myself with helmet flying through the air as I curse (abstract symbols in a speech balloon) and blood is splashing away in all directions. There are some not clearly defined observers (demons) and also a God (Charon) in a boat, ready to carry me across the Styx to the underworld (Hades). It could have ended worse. The stylized depiction of the bull inspired me to create this series: The Bulls, which is actually about bulls with big horns. Originally, the series was called The Smoked Beef Series, named after a flavor variety of a local brand of potato chips: Simba! As far as I was concerned, the bulls were then allowed to be made into food. In hindsight, of course, totally unreasonable, especially for a vegetarian. So I changed the titles: The Bulls. The bulls fulfill a mythological role as in ancient Greece, especially Crete. The Pilot Story was purchased by EDS. The originals were all sold with a few exceptions. This is a new series that was started and developed in the same style during the Corona lockdown in 2020.

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