Friday, October 13, 2006

Painter Of The Year - Trinidad and Tobago

Creativity is born in the bowels of Trinidad and not in the galleries...

The images you see here are the ravings of a mentally ill painter, probably someone who has never ventured into a gallery space. As thebookmann and Adele were taking pictures, a woman walking up the street informed us that the person who makes these images is homeless. He has expanded his public canvas from across the street from the PNM house to across from the site planned for a new Indian High Commission, as well as a few hidden side streets of Port of Spain. What is clear to us now, is that Mr. Alinton, as we try to make out the name that now embellishes the walls with equal gusto, is adding text and making bolder and bolder statements about the state of the country, the difficult emotional congress between men and women, the status of blackness, the search for identity, the threats of living on the streets and the desire for hope.

This we see in the face painting with one eye placed over a circular hole placed for a electric meter. This hole suggests possibilities of something better to live for, something untouched by ‘our’ reality. Two weeks ago many artists went to Soft Box to see "A Suitable Distance." Meanwhile, a suitable distance away, a tag war goes on without fan fair between Mr. Alston and the ‘Underground Graffiti Tagger called "Louse". For real ‘turf’ on the city streets. Nothing is sacrosanct, you may have walked over a tag or a painting And didn’t even know it. Here on the gritty, filthy floors and walls of Port of Spain, house paints come out in the heat of the day and treachery of night. Real heart to heart, painful, passionate needs to create, while elsewhere Artists grapple with finding a way to make art they claim, for the public, and woefully miss the mark. See the

Some of Mr. Alinton’s imagery are painted in black upon black of black people, which reminds me of the work of the painter Chris Ofili in its desire to tell stories of pain and pride. For Mr. Alinton, you can go to his gallery whenever you want. Real art is happening here. - Adele

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