In 1883, native Australian James Tambo and 8 of his friends and family were kidnapped or coerced into performing the role of “wild cannibals” for Barnum & Bailey circus. After one year as a performer, James died of pneumonia at the age of 23, surely brought on by the lifestyle that had been forced upon him. His “service” to the circus did not end at death. His mummified remains were sold to another circus, exhibited for a period, and then stored in a basement for a combined total of 110 years. In 1993 his remains were discovered, and he was laid to rest in 1994. This story could not be more terrible. These stories of the unfathomable abuse of indigenous people must haunt us. This painting is my visceral reaction to this story after it was told to me by an Australian friend. There is no question in my mind that it was my direct experience of a haunting.
Exhuming Jimmy Tambo
19″ x 24″ Charcoal & Watercolor on Paper $1200 painting + $30 shipping + $72 MD sales Tax