On Sunday, after a quick stop at the American History Museum to catch the last day of the Julia Child Kitchen exhibit (yes, her kitchen is the stuff chef dreams are made of), my friend and I strolled over the the National Museum of African Art to see the "African Cosmos: Stellar Arts" exhibit. This piece by South African artist Gavin Jantjes is what drew me to the exhibit in the first place and let me tell you: it did not fail to work it's magical voodoo! In person, the piece is huge and I got the chance to look at it from just about every angle!
The painting is based on the San myth of a young girl who reaches into a fire and tossing the burning embers to the sky. The coals become stars and the ashes become the milky way. The figures, representatives of humans despite how much they remind me of E.T., are inspired by ancient Khoi San paintings.