I saw this piece last month at The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, it’s a very powerful piece which I really like and the museum is fantastic. I also find it interesting in it’s use of words within the context of imagery. I’ve been working with that in my work and find the struggle between visual imagery and the thought of the written word to be a challenge to master. Here, I don’t think the words mean anything other than being visually attractive—his biography explains it. But I feel they convey the essence of a thought. Asking “who are you?”, “are you real?”, “do you still exist?”
I wonder if he intended to make a play on the Rubin Vase? That again would harken back to questioning what’s real, which with the age we are entering I’m not so sure we can know—-what’s real in the virtual world?