Tag Archives: acrylic

The Imaginary World of Jorge Severino

Jorge Severino - Debut en sociedad di mi prima Cleotilde. Oil and acrylic on linen.

When he started exhibiting his paintings in the mid-sixties, Jorge Severino from the Dominican Republic didn’t have a clue to what he was doing. Reviewing Severino’s first exhibition in 1966, art critic Contín Aybar commented that “the ten paintings could easily have been created by six different artists. There is no common style in them”. So when Severino sold his first painting for $75, he was astonished that people would even pay for his work. Nowadays his paintings are hard to come by and cost $12,500 or more.


By Jorge Cuartas

Severino came to his own when he started painting black woman in luxury dresses. Using mostly a combination of oil and acrylics and never an easel, these black society women are decorated with over the top jewelry, silk dresses and red flowers. They stare defiantly at their observers.

Jorge Severino - 'Tía Gertrudis que era amante de Toulouse, haciendo antesala en el Moulin Rouge'. Oil and arylics on linen.

Severino is a representative of the magical realism movement, to which Gabriel García Márquez also belonged. His paintings are based on an imaginary photo album found in the attic with written indications in the margins about the Tia Clotilde in Paris, and the Tio Roque at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Severino uses this family to mock the megalomaniac fantasies of middle and upper classes of the Caribbean.

Jorge Severino 'Prima Johanna posando para Hector Baez'. Oil and acrylics on linen

His brilliance not only lies in transforming the perception of black women’s reality, but also in adding surrealistic elements to his paintings. Look for floating keys, football goal posts, or red fishes swimming in the air as part of his decorations.

Jorge Severino’s paintings have been shown in Europe, Latin America and the United States. He has won several international prizes for his paintings and is considered one of the Master Artists of the Dominican Republic.

Paintings used in this article:

  1. ‘Debut en sociedad di mi prima Cleotilde’, Jorge Severino. Oil and acrylic on linen.
  2. ‘Do you like Klimt’, Jorge Severino. Silkscreen.
  3. ‘Morena’, Jorge Severino.
  4. ‘Tía Gertrudis que era amante de Toulouse, haciendo antesala en el Moulin Rouge’, Jorge Severino. Oil and arylics on linen
  5. ‘Prima Johanna posando para Hector Baez’ by Jorge Severino. Oil and acrylics on linen.
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Pioneer of Positive Black Imagery

Untitled acrylic on canvas by Jennifer Lewis "Pepperstone".

Jennifer Lewis (1966-2012) aka Louie Pepperstone created a contemporary, powerful vision of the identity of black Caribbean women. Starting in the late eighties, when positive Afro-Caribbean imagery was not so readily available as today, she pioneered in combining the vibrant, natural colors of her native country Saint Vincent with African themes. The results were portraits of women that empowered black people around the world.

She grew up in London where she studied Jewelry Design at Central St. Martins. Her work was exhibited in several galleries in London and in the Caribbean. The colors, textures, history, religion, and folklore of Africa and the Caribbean were her inspiration. On her canvases she used acrylics, watercolor, relief, print and collage, woven with gold and silver leaf. Most of her work today is in private collections.

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Thick Lips: Jean Girigori’s Trademark

Jean Girigori is one of the leading painters of the Caribbean. Her work is colorful, vibrant and joyous, her Expressionist-Naive style unique. She was born at sea, lived in the Dominican Republic during her childhood, and settled by way of Haiti on Curaçao, the country of  origin of her grandparents.

Women and women’s rights play a central role in Jean Girigori’s paintings. Her big eyed subjects look accusing into the world, denouncing social injustice just as much as enjoying life. The thick lips of her women are her trademark. These lips used to be  opened in her earlier paintings, but nowadays are almost always shut. In her interviews Jean Girigori always emphasizes the great contribution women make in their Caribbean community.

Jean Girigori has been exhibited around the Caribbean, in the United States and in the Netherlands.

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The Archetype of Haitian Market Paintings

Laurent Casimir - Fete Creole

How many people can you press into one great painting? Well, if  your doing a painting of a market and your name is Laurent Casimir 500 or more will do. The Haitian painter (1927-1990) started his series of detailed crowded market scenes in the sixties. Using mostly red, orange and yellow he created an original style that soon was copied by many others, resulting in a Haitian archetype.

Laurent Casimir set the tone for Haiti’s paintings of markets with his ‘Crowded Market Scenes’ series

Laurent Casimir joined the Centre d’Art in Port au Prince in 1946 and later attended the Foyer of Fine Arts. His work soon attracted the attention of international collectors. By the mid seventies he had a school of his own, where his apprentices would fill in the colors and Casimir would add his signature.

Nowadays it is not easy to confirm the authenticity of the paintings that bear his name. His work can be found at the Figge Art Museumthe Milwaukee Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum

The painting at the top of this article is called ‘Fête Créole’.  Find more art of Laurent Casimir’s on our social media: Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube | Facebook
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TBT Featured: Impressionist Errol Allen, Jamaica

Errol Allen 2 - Jamaica

Errol Allen (1960-2012) started painting at the age of 8 and is considered one of the main impressionists of Jamaica. His favorite medium was watercolors although he also used pastels, oils and acrylic. Characteristic of his paintings are the colorful pigments applied with heavy brush strokes. His art has been sold to the USA, Canada, England, Germany and Australia. Errol Allen is our featured artist for Throw Back Thursday.

More of his work: Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram  |  YouTube
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The Color of Social Injustice

Le depart pour le Travail - Jean Francois Millet 1851 2

Comparing Millet’s and Brintle’s ‘Le Départ pour le Travail’

Back in the 19th century, the French painter Jean-François Millet (1814 – 1875), moved by the social injustice in his country, shifted the focus in his paintings from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladder. Millet was a Realist and one of the founders of the Barbizon School.


By Jorge Cuartas

‘Le Départ pour le Travail (1851-1853)’ is one of his paintings of peasants that captures the poverty of rural French life. In it, he hides the faces of the agricultural laborers to emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position.

About 150 years later Haitian Patricia Brintle paints her own ‘Le Départ pour le Travail’. She uses Millet’s orientation and composition, but at the same time emphasizes the poverty of her subjects less by using bright colors and by replacing the rake of the male worker by a guitar.

Le depart pour le Travail - Patricia Brintle

Ms. Brintle is a self-taught painter who favors the use of acrylic. Her paintings are bright, vivid and vibrant. Born and raised in Haiti, she immigrated to the United States in 1964. In her work she uses symbolic elements to bridge the gap between Haitian islanders and the Haitian Diaspora.

Paintings used in this article:

  1. ‘Le Départ pour le Travail’, Jean-François Millet, oil on canvas
  2. ‘Le Départ pour le Travail, after Jean-François Millet’, Patricia Brintle, acrylic on canvas

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Aruban painter Elvis Tromp speaks with colors #CaribbeanPainters

Haciendo Redo - Elvis Tromp

Elvis Tromp is an Aruban painter who speaks with colors. Using oil or acrylic he has painted several Aruban landscapes since he was a child, but lately he has expanded into figurative and abstract art.

Haciendo Redo’ shows three women sitting down to gossip. Set against a powerful yellow background the painting captures a very recognizable activity around the Caribbean.

Tromp, who has led the art movement on his island for decades has an active page  on Facebook, showing his latest works.

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