02 April 2013

"Opa, Yeehaw!"

40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2003, private collection

This was the first image that came to mind when I set out to create a series of paintings dealing with the culture clash between my Macedonian and Canadian heritages (my parents came to Canada a few years before I was born).

What's happening here is a woman dressed in traditional Macedonian cultural regalia riding a bull (representing Canada via the Calgary Stampede). The reason for this specific juxtaposition is in the title: "opa, eeha!" is often exclaimed by Macedonians while happily dancing, and "yeehaw" is often exclaimed by excited cowboys. I still find this very funny.
Bonus cheap laffs: she's waving a handkerchief in the air (as the Macedonian ladies do while dancing) using the upraised arm that's common while riding a bucking bronc.

While I'm pretty happy with the bull and the rendering of the costume, the rest of the painting kind of pains me to look at (that face!)...so I just go back to looking at the bull and laughing at my little joke.

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