Sunday, October 9, 2011


Three Egyptian (?) women with their children
30" x 24"
oil on canvas, 2011
According to Wikipedia the song Misirlou was composed by Michalis Patrinos together with members from his Rebitiko band in 1927. He recorded it first in 1930 and then again in 1931. The recordings were distributed in America on the Ortophonic label by a certain Titos Dimitriadis. How confusing—on YouTube I find a 1927 recording of Misirlou by Tétos Dimitriades. How, in the rich documentation of this song that became known all over the world, did this historical mix-up slip in? Misirlou was a big hit for Dick Dale who recorded it in 1962, in 1994 that version played an important part in the film Pulp Fiction. Hundreds of musicians have recorded versions of it.

Part of the painting you may have seen before. This same painting once belonged to Shankar Jaikashan that I did a month ago (see a few blogs down). In the end I didn’t like that painting and I returned it to the landscape it once was. Since I have painted a brand new Shankar Jaikishan and the landscape painting of my backyard now features the three mothers wearing niqab. The image I extracted from a slide show that was put behind the 1930 Misirlou version of Michalis Patrinos on YouTube. I’m not sure whether or not the women in the “time-piece” photograph are Greek. (They probably are Egyptian—the song Misirlou deals with a Greek man who falls in love with an Egyptian girl, Misirlou means literally Egyptian girl. They could also be Turkish—Misirl is a Turkish word.) Either way, whilst most their faces are covered up some breasts are not (I didn’t spot that upon selecting the image but only during the process of painting it.)

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