The lady who sits astride a cushioned stool in Obelisk is a composite of various different ideas and characteristics, and a typical example of Boakye’s working process. Based on drawings both from life and memory, she dominates the canvas, fixing the viewer with a rather provocative glare. While her age is unclear, her striking, minimalist attire suggests the social standing of a privileged individual. The painting’s title refers to the sitter’s upright, tapered posture and the ambiguous arrangement of feet beneath. Those of the lady tuck in between those of the stool; she steadies herself on her own tiptoes, while at the same time appearing to stand on four legs like some sort of modern day satyr, the mythical symbol of sexual promiscuity.

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