Shai Yossef

12/12/2016 - 01/08/2017

Shai Yossef - SHAI _YOSSEF-artmoi.JPG

Renty, or his other name "Noah's son" is a chilling evidence of the widespread slavery in the 18th and 19th centaury across the USA, especially in the south. 

Renty is the real name of the painted character. 

The photo of Renty (one in a series of similar photographs), was commissioned by biologist Louis Agassiz and was shot by photographer Zealy J.T in March 1850 to demonstrate the inferiority of the origin of the black man. 


The photograph that is displayed in the Peabody Museum, Harvard University shows an immortal and rare point of view of the humiliation experienced by Renty as a slave and as an object of scientific curiosity, as there is no other good reason for a black slave to appear on a photograph alone at a time when not everyone could afford to be photographed. 

I want to thank the museum for the permission to use the photograph and paint it. This is how I close this deal for Renty for the humiliating position he experienced. I remember marveling into his painful gaze. In my painting Renty was left hurt and scarred, but he still stands straight and firm. No more bending. Tough, strong and more exposed than ever on a stretched white fabric size 150/200 cm. Like black ink on white paper. Renty dares to look directly at anyone who dares to stare back. For anyone who feels uncomfortable because of his glance, 

I would recommend doing some soul-searching and those with a clean heart will discover how beautiful Renty is... 


The painting was presented in the International Exhibition for architects and designers of 2015, it also reached an advanced stage on an art contest in London and Dubai in 2016.