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The Judgment of Paris

(70 x 50 x 13 cm) Installation


Henri Tarraco (Rep.Congo)

Henri Tarraco Jr. descends from a Belgian mother and a Congolese father and grew up until his early teens in a little village near Kigali. He went back with his mother to Ghent, Belgium after his father died.

“I remember this time for me as quiet difficult and very confusing. From one moment to another, literally everything was different. It was like waking up to a strange dream. I took refuge in the tales of my childhood, creating my own fantasy world. From this period I started to grow an interest in drawing. Later, I combined these folktales with the fascinating Greek mythology, which I have learned here in Europe. I am drawn to how imagination and reality can float perfectly together and the power they have to heal one´s soul. People who are interested in my art should take my work and stories as stepping stones to enter their own fantasy world”.

For the artist it is a way to define his identity. For us as a viewer, it is a plunge into a unique world of storytelling, materials and originality.
The lazy toad and his sisters = the judgment of Paris.
The fat toad Baka lives with his 3 beautiful sisters near a little stream. He sits in the shades, being lazy all day. When his sisters are complaining that they have to do all the work by themselves. He always tells them that he is on the lookout for a fine husband for them and therefor he cannot work. One day a young toad arrives at the stream. Baka wants to scare him away, not to jeopardize his lazy existence. But the young toad is persistent. “Oh well”, says Baka. “If you can tell me which one of my three sisters I like the best, you can choose one to marry”. Baka smiles, well knowing that there is no right answer. But the young toad thinks hard and then chooses Baka as the best one. He is the most beautiful and strong toad he has ever seen. He must be the pride of his father and there must be females standing in line to marry him. Baka is overwhelmed by all this praise and sets of immediately to find him a bride. Soon after Baka is gone all three sisters are getting married and having a good life. To this day Baka is still wandering around. It seems no one wants to have an old fat lazy toad like him.
The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite are in strive from whom is the best looking. Zeus let the mortal Trojan Paris select who is the most beautiful of the three. But the three goddesses are not playing fair and are bribing the young Paris with gifts. Eventually he chooses Aphrodite who promised him the most beautiful woman on earth: Helen of Sparta. This event leads to the beginning of the Trojan War.

The frogs used for one of these artworks are real and have been found in nature in this state of mummification. No animal has been hurt deliberate in the making of these works.

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