Monday, October 30, 2006

For quality art with a local vision - The roadside painter

Drive along the Foreshore on the way to the most expensive mall in the Caribbean and you would come across a sight that seems endangered. To stop on the highway to purchase these symbols of the Caribbean one has to take their lives into their hands, as the artist has set up on the shoulder of the highway to do so. At one point the work was put up on a pirogue that was beached on the site. Now the work is set up on makeshift easels, and they are of everything that people expect the Caribbean to be, birds, flowers, landscapes and seascapes. Trash litters the area near to the works and not to far down from the mall one enters another world-arguably the world of the upper class, mostly Caucasian and Syrian set balanced between middle to lower class Africans before the beaches and hotels built for the foreigners called ‘yatchties’ who dock their boats in the harbour.

Maracas bay, Trinidad

These works not only tell us about a Trinidad and Tobago that we hold to for dear life, but one that we insist must continue to live in our artists works. However how many of the people of highest and lowest echelons actually stop to buy a painting is unknown. I do not know how well this guy’s work sells, but as far as works of this kind is concerned, it is better than most works of its kind in gallery spaces. There is a proficiency from having done these scenes a hundred times before, and the scene of Maracas beach is both quaint and reasonable close to what can really be seen. If you walk there today. The people who will never be remembered by anyone. Does this make their work unimportant because no one knows their name? The artist sits out in the open and paints from his heart and paints for a driving public and a curious public. For whatever its worth every time I drive along that highway I see different work put up along that road. There is a place for everyone selling art, I tell myself, and this man chooses the highway. The other artist takes his way. the end of the day art is a process, and the market place is as big as your mind can process it. Who is to say that our roadside artist cannot one day aspire to a large gallery space or our gallery space artist aspire to the roadside painting? Ponder that.- Adele

Open Studio, Trinidad, West Indies. An impressionist painting at a Museum in Chicago aspired this Artist to paint. John Alphonso Webster As his business card states: “For quality art with a local vision”

Top: On the road, Trinidad, West Indies. Centre: A detail the idyllic place, Maracas Bay, Trinidad

1 comment:

Hottie Hottie said...

I remember this! Endangered indeed. Thank you for pointing our the things most of us barely see.


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