Living in Freetown, Sierra Leone, John Goba was born in 1944 in Mattru Jong and grew up within the secret society of Bondo women.
His colorful sculptures are made out of painted wood and covered in porcupine quills, which it is believed have protective and mystical virtues. He is inspired by traditional craftwork, tribal tales and secrets, especially those of the Mende people, of which he is a member.
John Goba took part in numerous exhibitions, including 100% Africa at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 2006, Africa/Africa at the Center for Contemporary Art in Meymac, France, in 2012, and in African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Piggozzi Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. His works were shown in various festivals and biennials around the world, including the Dakar Biennial in 1992, the Havana Biennial in 2001, and Partages d’exotisme in 2000, the 5th edition of the Lyon Biennial. His work is also a part of several collections.
The Missellinius Mask Head, 2015,
Wood sculpture, textile and porcupine quills,
186 x 150 cm,