Wednesday, February 01, 2006

From A La Carte to Liberace

Theatre at the Masquerade opening, Horizons Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad

This is new work and one year in the making says, Aaron Schneider, one of the three Artists including one of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival icons, Wayne Berkeley. With Ricardo Nanton, a collaborative project in ornamental craft is on display at Horizons Art Gallery, Trinidad and Tobago, and conceptualized, composed and constructed are jeweled masks entitled Masquerade. Under the direction of Mr. Berkeley, an assembly of beads, sequins, plumes, palettes, lace ribbon, costume jewelry and synthetic flowers are clustered together and set in seventy-six individual recessed boxes. The ornaments are fixed to a felt fabric backing, and the Artwork is matted with a kaleidoscope of coloured boards. The Artists have signed each work using an everlasting - silver marker!

Plumes from a splash from La Cage Aux Folles

What is astonishing about this exhibition, “Masquerade” is that many Art patrons simply love it and by the expressive jesters demonstrated at the opening, the bewilderment, pure exuberance and joy just viewing these shimmering masks is an indication of the Art buyer's market in Trinidad and Tobago.

Owning one of these Jeweled Masks is really for its prettification, non-engaging feel and it is ideal to adorn hallways, hotel lobbies, homes, or to Glee at social gatherings that you have acquired one. Uncomplicated, unsophisticated and expressive of the kitsch way the Carnival Band Designer thinks of himself, and what he can clearly getaway with.

Heavy weights in attendance, television personalities, a video crew, Carnival Band leaders and "Artiste"

With encouragement from “Artiste” Pat Bishop, she writes in the elongated card-o-loge from the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago; “In the Trinidad Carnival context, this exhibition demonstrates the breath of Berkeley’s influence on local manifestations of the festival,” further stating that the use of the jewelry is contemporary and fashionable….“Bling," yet ambiguous to her are the differences between "Bling" and "Tin." Previously, Ms. Bishop played with the idea of miniatures, abstract paintings adorned with metallic rings mounted upon mat over mat board and set in a similar recessed box.

Panorama # 26, subterfuge for what Berkeley can getaway with as Art

Devine, Liberace and Walt Disney’s Mermaid under the Sea, collaborate together in an exhibition entitled Masquerade. Moved from the Carnival Booths from the Queen’s Park Savannah to Horizons Art Gallery. Decorative jeweled boxes in subterfuge for what Mr. Berkeley says; "There is consistency here, There is an eye for the particular detail, a commitment to the fine finish and the extension of the Carnivalesque into a longer lasting application." and by this he means, Hawaiian paper umbrellas, a sample bottle of Rum, Tourist copper Steel Drums with the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Bulbs and Costume Jewelry fabricated in one of his works called Panorama.

Pure exuberance and joy at the shimmer of each mask and appropriately timed exhibition, as the Carnival fever is creeping up, adding to the urge to absorbed, “We Culture.”

Labels are posted below each Masquerade Masks to tantalise the buyer by prose, leading to the details placed in the collage: "Listen to the sound of drums and this mask will direct you to the rhythmic music of the Caribbean. Most noticeable is the bottle of rum in the upper portion of this mask. Without the Rum there is no panorama......." Titles written from a hallucinogenic state. Other notable names; Neptunes Treasure, Strawberries Ripe and Don't eat the Daisies.

This exhibition may be enjoyed by the subtle differences in each Masquerade Jeweled Masks, for others, it may be the opportunity to own work from a legend in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

Thebookmann’s Masquerade Mask made from buttons and trinkets from a haberdashery junk box, with the confession that designing the layout of the Art piece was quite therapeutic.

Note: Wayne Berkeley’s 1975 Carnival Band, "A La Carte" is remembered as Mas with great care attention to detail


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who is to say what is art? you? get away with as art? who is getting away, your mask surely was not a berkeley and the only real bad art is the dark kind that conspires to frown upon other artist's work, who is to say that picasso now would not have been subject to the same negativity that erodes the human spirit? the same negativity displayed here.


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