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The Cover
November 19, 2003

The Jungle

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(19):2518. doi:10.1001/jama.290.19.2518

The work of Cuban painter Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) reflects his own exotic background. Beginning as a landscape and portrait painter, he became unparalleled at capturing the essence of African and European traditions, including Surrealism and Cubism. For example, The Jungle (cover ) is a dense mass of limbs, lips, and other body parts, as well as leaves and bamboo stalks. Lam describes The Jungle thus: "The figure on the left is a . . . whore . . . from her heart comes . . . an animal's paw . . . she evokes crossbreeding, the degradation of the race. The figure on the right has a knife, the instrument of integrity, but he makes no use of it, he does not fight. He suggests the indecision of the mulatto, who does not know where to go or what to do." (Sims LS, Wifredo Lam and the International Avant-Garde, 1923-1982. Austin: University of Texas Press; 2002.)