Mama Soap II - Limited Edition - Hand-Signed
This limited edition print was created by Henri Abraham Univers.
The print is delivered hand-signed by the artist.
Mama Soap II is a limited edition print available in an edition of 40 across 2 A sizes, with an additional 20 editions reserved for printing at custom sizes, price provided upon request.
Each giclee print comes unframed with a white border, printed with archival inks. The limited edition print captures the details, textures and colours of the original artwork and is printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm paper.
"Her name is Biiga! She exists in another form, in another realm: a sculpted talismanic doll gifted to young Mossi girls of Burkina Faso, part of a life-long grooming for motherhood. For the upcoming virtual edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York hosted on Artsy, Henri Abraham Univers transposed Biiga onto canvas and depicted her in domestic scenes of food preparation (Biiga Bleu, 2020), and bath time routine. In Mama Soap (2020), the artist enlarged Biiga to embody a grown-up Mossi woman, performing one of the most motherly of gestures: bathing her young child. The artwork harks back to the artist's childhood in Ivory Coast, where he was a mesmerized witness to his friends' traditional evening baths. “From the top of my seven years, I couldn't have enough of seeing my friends being washed by their mothers. It was a real spectacle of love of affection."
"This early and tender memory has given rise to a searing social commentary on Black womanhood. In Mama Soap II, neither the mother nor the child seems overtly preoccupied with the task at hand. From his overflowing small bath bowl, the toddler is half playing with the foam streaming down his arms while casting a quizzical look toward the viewers. The mother has stretched out her hand to the back of her child for additional support, and simultaneously turned her body, her face, and her stern gaze towards the viewers."
"This silent encounter is charged with the historical baggage and demeaning discourse about Black womanhood. The Black female body - including the body of Sarah Baartman (Hottentot Venus), the most famous of them all - has been derided, exposed for mockery, and profit. Yet it is still here, unaltered, and in all its glory! In this contemporaneous iteration, Henri Abraham Univers' Biiga has blended hints of modernity, flashy red lipstick, and age-old scarifications carefully etched on her limbs. Her bosom, a set of gravity affirming long and pointy breasts, extends halfway over her protruding abdomen."
"Suddenly the curvaceous lines of the stomach, the conical shapes of the face, and bosom reveal themselves as figures of defiance. Biiga's unclothed body is quietly resisting the normative standards of beauty that demand it to be fully covered, flattened, and slenderized so that its shapes and forms resemble that of an androgynous teenager. Instead, these voluptuous shapes are manifestations of self-love. They expose a secure cultural attachment to endogenous belief systems impervious to the sexualization of breasts and the objectification of the female body. These breasts are only just that: body parts, probably lengthened through prolonged use as vessels of food for babies. There is a baffling simplicity to the forms of the breasts, the function they occupy, and their meaning. This visual narrative of back to basics conveys a profound sense of authenticity. The word has been bandied about and lost its gravitas but remains, in its unadulterated definition, critical to Henri Abraham Univers."
In addition to the work available through H&E, this artist has an extensive portfolio available on request. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.