Dusti Bongé Mardi Gras colors painting

Dusti Bongé lived in Biloxi, MS, 90 miles east along the Gulf of Mexico from New Orleans. This Dusti Bongé painting recalls the vibrancy of Mardi Gras along the Gulf. Analysis, as always, comes from Ligia M. Römer, executive director of the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation in Biloxi.

Dusti Bongé, Untitled (Rainbow Colored Form on Black Ground), 1983, felt tip pen on paper, 8” x 5”

Here we have another felt tip pen work as vibrant as the last one. This one, basically covering all colors of the rainbow against a deep black ground, appears to reflect the visual overload we experience on the Gulf Coast during Mardi Gras. 

The purple, green and gold decorations of Mardi Gras are everywhere each February and competing with Valentine’s Day reds and pinks. Beads, masks, roses, king cakes, heart shaped boxes of chocolate all vie for our attention. It’s a smorgasbord of colors and confections.

This work happens to reflect the cacophony of colors we face, but does so in an infinitely more aesthetically pleasing, non-raucous, way. It also happens to express the exuberance of Mardis Gras with the energetic forms of the overlapping trapezoid and circle activating one another. The swirling motion of colors within the circle is augmented by the black marks outlining it and then zigzagging down into the black background.

Meanwhile, the luminous yellow and orange in the lower part of the trapezoid brighten the whole composition and, against the blackness, create an interesting interplay of background and foreground. 

All in all, a vibrant, intriguing composition that’s a celebration in its own right.

No Comments Yet.