Charles Dabo

Welcome to the official site of artist, Charles Dabo.

The choice of representing images of traditional life and ancient expressions, is defined by the historical memory Charles inherited from his ancestors. The animals are metaphors. Since the attributes of some animals are desirable in some communities, they become a reference to virtues one could aspire to possess. Charles found out that this is one way many artists in the past chose to pictographically honor their ancestors who are believed to manifest themselves in the form of animals like the "Secretary Bird", the leopard, the snake, the lizard and the crocodile. Each of these animals represents a protective spirit. As the protective spirits of the ancestors move from the spirit world to the world of the living, they take the form of an animal that will, subsequently, become the protector of a given group of people. Charles' intention is to preserve the pictorial expressions that feed on the coded narrative found in West Africa's oral tradition of fables, myths and legends. In our time dominated by human conflicts, disease, poverty, and climate change, there are relevant lessons to be learned from the stories told in Charles' paintings.