Paa Joe - Sea Shell

August 10, 2021
Paa Joe - Sea Shell, 2018. Photo by Thomas Dashuber.
Paa Joe - Sea Shell, 2018. Photo by Thomas Dashuber.

The Ghanaian coffin artist Paa Joe is known for his artistic, oversized, quaintly painted and almost architecturally double-layered works, which always depict figurative elements.


In his work “Sea Shell” Paa Joe takes the sea as reference: he symbolically depicts it as a shell made from wood. Paa Joe's fantasy coffin (abebuu adekai) should serve as a housing for the human body and accompany it on their final journey.


But if this coffin is ideologically transferred and connected to the birth of Venus, then three questions may arise: should this coffin serve as an irony for the New Venus - can the goddess Venus be declared dead? Does the coffin indicate the fact that a new birth of Venus isn’t possible at all – not even ideological? Or does she have to die first to be born again? What is known for sure is that this coffin, in its natural form and function, stands for the afterlife.


About the author

Cezara-Maria Casian