Trinidadian imagery captured in powder and fabric

January 31, 2019

 New artwork at the gallery comes in the form of fabric works from Alexander Guerrero. Portraits are crafted with material and stitch work is used for details to give the pieces a graphic finish. The pieces are Guerrero's 'Afrotino’ women, based on women close to him personally. Guerrero, a mixed media artist from Venezuela working in Trinidad, is determined to constantly redefine himself as an artist. He tries new styles and mediums and shows an aptitude for the newness in his informal and authentic approach.

 


The piece ‘Esmerelda’ like its counterparts in the series uses appliqué as an adornment of the neck of the subject to create 'something delicate and beautiful' for someone important to the artist. We however cannot help but draw reference to Marlon Griffith’s The Pow­der Box School­girl Series. Griffith, who started as a ‘Mas Man’ has centered his work around Trinidad Carnival and the dialogue between ‘mas’ and art. Louis, a piece from the series (pictured) also featured as part of “Wrestling With The image: Caribbean Interventions” curated by Christopher Cozier and Tatiana Flores. "Wrestling with the Image asks how artists alter the meaning and the manner in which “Caribbean” cultures and identities are recorded and understood, both inside and outside the region. How do artists engage with, re-imagine, and transform Caribbean diasporic cultures in their creative practices?*

 

The individuality of these pieces would allow us to settle in our initial thought that they are isolated works of art, but after consideration we arrive at observations that suggest something else.
The use of portraiture, the depiction of Afro Caribbean women, the inspiration of carnival and the idea of adornment are shared themes manifested in notably different ways by these artworks.  
Here is a conversation about a Caribbean collective of artwork benefiting from an appreciation and understanding of neighboring cultures and lifestyles while also producing unique and individual interpretations of the same. Asking the questions; on what basis do we define artwork as Trinidadian or Caribbean? Are we using tools of critique to identify the similarities and difference that exist among our small, creatively charged, local artists? How do these artists identify with each other internally, with the perceived group of artists of the Caribbean and the way this affects the global perspective of ‘Caribbean art’.



*http://caribbeanreviewofbooks.com/crb-archive/25-january-2011/belonging-to-in-between/  Louis, Tribal, and Blossom (2009), by Marlon Griffith; (digital prints, 121.3 x 80.6 cm each) 

 

 

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