“Queequeg and Moby” 1999

Oil & gilding on byõbu, 14” x 36”. Collection of Sarah Cohen.

i was always fascinated by Queequeg. He filled the bill for what men once called a noble savage.  With his tattooed face he seemed more like Moby than like his fellow sailors.  He was really much more part of nature and more kin to the noble white whale.  It was ironic and sad that he would be the one to go head to head with the leviathan.  In the late 40s when my brother Bob and I would watch Randolph Scott in black & white movies, the “half breed” was his most feared enemy.  Neither white man nor red man he did not really belong on this earth. He frightened both Bob and I but we cheered him on because we knew we were also half breeds.  Perhaps that is why I was also drawn to both Moby Dick and Queequeg.

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