Original artwork.
“Ibrahim et son petit-fils” - 14 x 17 in. (36 x 43 cm), graphite on bristol.

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Ibrahim et son petit-fils

14x17 graphite on bristol.

Ibrahim is a friend of mine from a small village in the Kouroussa region of Guinea. Something about him fascinated me. He had an aura of knowing something, or perhaps seeking to know something that was just beyond knowable. His eyes always held a faraway look, but also had a glimmer and a light. He’s lived quite the life, and told me many stories. He left the village when he was younger in search of work, and spent 15 years as a merchant marine, and saw the world…before returning home to the village to be with his family. He was worldly and kind; children always flocked to him.

Drawing on Culture

An Artist’s West Africa Travelogue


In Drawing on Culture, Kobrenski shares his artwork, stories, and insights about culture and worldviews with the keen eye of an anthropologist so that we might, in turn, see our own cultural worldview with new eyes.

More than thirty new artworks from his time in Guinea are compiled here alongside his own field notes and essays. His portrait drawings inspire conversations about diversity, tradition, and why ancient ways of knowing are now more relevant than ever.

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“Dave Kobrenski is a gifted artist and musician, and a better anthropologist than many of the PhDs I know. Here is a fine text that depicts people as they are, illustrates their essence, and demonstrates the importance of appreciating, without appropriating, their lives and ways of being.”

Katherine Donahue, Ph.D, Professor Emerita, Anthropology