Guyana’s First Lady, Arya Ali, was on the 12th of July, 2022 presented with a portrait of herself created by Guyanese artist, Compton Babb. The announcement was made by the First Lady via her Facebook Page. Mrs. Ali called the portrait “a captivating and truly amazing piece of artistic work.” And she referred to the artist, Compton Babb, as “one of our finest creatives.”
According to Mrs. Ali, the portrait, spearheaded by Mr. Babb, took three months to complete and the production was aided by an auxiliary group of at least ten members. These include:
- Saajid Husani – Photographer
- James Bond – Cigars & Cognac, Eco Bar and Lounge
- Dr. Rosh Khan – SocialRank Media
- Steven Jacobs – Jacobs Jewellery
- Randy Madray – Randy Madray Designer
- Philip Barton – Videographer
- Jason Medas – Heartthrob Dynamics
- Cleveland Bradford – Eclipse Digitalphoto
- Clayborn Austin – C.N.A.A Establishment
- Ian Ramdeo – Urban Life Guyana
Special thanks also to Peggy Medas, Angela Profijt, Rhonda Lee-Dalrymple, Lisa Jackman, Shelsee Thom, Lilian Taylor, and Ashely Williams.
Statement by Compton Babb
“Gold’s value cannot be denied and has long been associated with wealth, success, prestige, influence, and prosperity. The color gold is also associated with generosity, compassion, empowerment, confidence, and inspiration. For both reasons, I have included this precious metal in my most recent artistic creation; The Portrait of our First Lady, Her Excellency Mrs. Arya Ali.
In this portrait real gold nuggets have been strategically placed in the center of the jewelry that adorns the head and neck of the First Lady. Furthermore, semi-precious jewels adorn the painting which have been placed strategically to symbolize the dance between the paint and the stones.
The choice to place gold in these two locations is of significant importance. The head represents the seat of energy, strength, wisdom, self-esteem, honor, and beauty, while the neck represents the source of communication, the place where the voice originates. Symbolically, the head and neck combine to highlight and articulate the significant and critical role the First Lady plays in Guyanese society. Our First Lady commands a unique platform which she uses to empower and improve the lives of underserved children and women. She is a role model to many and is a key figure in the fight against poverty and the drive for unity.”
It is not clear to this publication if the portrait with gold nuggets and precious jewelry is entirely a gift from Mr. Babb to the First Lady or if there was a cost attached.