Tag Archives: painting

A Mixture of Africa and Europe

Jamaican born and USA stationed Michael Escoffery was voted one of the ‘100 Most Influential Caribbean Americans’ in 2012 , but when it comes to his art he remains humble. “It’s not good for an artist to speak too much about his work”, says Escoffery. “Let the work speak  for the artist.”

His parents introduced him to painting at a very young age, prompting Escoffery to say: “I have always been an artist, conceived by artists and born an artist”. He was formed in that typical Caribbean mixture of Africa and Europe, an influence that is still visible in his work, where he merges his cultural heritage with modern art.

Michael Escoffery’s style is not easily defined. He combines abstract-realism with expressionism, cubism and iconography. He takes his inspiration from his heritage, the Caribbean people, and from the female form. “A work of art should reveal something new to the viewer each time it is seen”, says Escoffery.

His art has been exhibited in over 200 solo exhibitions and over 300 group shows worldwide. His work has been included in over 100 books worldwide. He is considered outspoken, controversial, but sensitive to his position and responsibilities as an artist. “To be an artist demands great courage.”

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Wichie Torres loves his Quijotes

Wichie Torres is a prolific painter who uses vibrant, intense colors and a short brush stroke. He is known as a Costumbrista for his depiction of the people, the landscapes and the culture of Puerto Rico. 

Don Quijote is one of his favorite themes. Throughout the years he has painted Quijotes in all colors and flavors. The paintings emphasize Quijote’s mustache and beard, just like the book  by Miguel de Cervantes did.

Some of Wichie Torres’ paintings can be seen at the Museo de Arte de Ponce; The Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan; The Museum of History, Anthropology and Art at the University of Puerto Rico’s; and at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.

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Augusto Marín: versatile Puertorican Artist

Augusto Marín (1921-2011) was a painter, draftsman, print maker, muralist, sculptor, stained-glass artist, and teacher. He covered expressionism, cubism and social-realism in his paintings. He is best described as a versatile contemporary artist.

Marín participated in the ‘Artistic Generation of the 1950s‘, a populist visual arts movement whose goal was to create images that affirmed the Puertorican identity.

His murals can be seen around Puerto Rico, for example at the Department of Housing building and the Fine Arts Center. His work can also be admired in several museums, including the Centro de Bellas Artes in Puerto Rico; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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Dramatic Expressionism

Arnaldo roche Rabell - Give him Wheels and he will Run

The paintings of Arnaldo Roche Rabell, born in 1955 in Puerto Rico, are best described as huge and dramatic. He uses enormous canvases, bright colors and a pallet knife. He covers his live models in the raw canvas and then rubs the paint on to get a silhouette of their bodies and faces. After their picture is impregnated in the fabric, Roche Rachell keeps putting layer upon layer of paint until a complex expressionistic character arises. Watch how he works in this video.

Arnaldo Roche Rabell - You have to dream in blue 1986

His technique and execution have earned him numerous awards and critical recognition. His work is found around the world in international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Venezuela; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Arnaldo Roche Rabell - Selfportrait 1990 - Oil on canvas - neo-expressionist

Paintings used in this article:

  1. ‘Give him Wheels and he will Run’ (2013), Arnaldo Roche Rabell, oil on canvas
  2. You have to Dream in Blue‘ (1986), Arnaldo Roche Rabell
  3. ‘Self-portrait’ (1990), Arnaldo Roche Rabell, oil on canvas
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Inicio de SERIE EN REDES SOCIALES sobre la PINTURA PORTORRIQUEÑA

WILLEMSTAD – El proyecto ‘Caribbean Painters’ inicia el martes 10 de noviembre 2015 en todas las redes sociales una serie sobre pintores Portorriqueños. Cada día se publicaran pinturas de artistas plásticos Portorriqueños acompañadas de un texto breve con detalles de la obra, incluso el nombre del autor y de la pintura.

PuertoRico PB

La serie mostrará obras de pintores icónicos establecidos y de pintores menos conocidos. Se representaran todas las corrientes: el rococó de José Campeche; el realismo de Miguel Pou; la protesta social de Rafael Tufiño; el expresionismo abstracto de Olga Albizú; el realismo expresionista de Myrna Baez; y el modernismo abstracto expresivo y realístico que existe hoy en día en las pinturas Portorriqueñas

Meta del ‘Caribbean Painters’ es ampliar el conocimiento sobre la diversidad de pintores Caribeños en la región y en el resto del mundo. Muchas veces fuera de los propios países pintores renombrados no tienen el reconocimiento y la fama que se merecen. Usando las redes sociales con información fácil de comprender y de compartir el proyecto quiere estimular que más personas en todo el mundo se interesen en el arte plástico del Caribe.

El proyecto tiene su sede en Willemstad, Curaçao. La curadora es Alina Cuartas de Marchena, de origen Cubano, criada en las Antillas Holandesas y licenciada en las Bellas Artes en la Universidad Abierta de Holanda.

‘Caribbean Painters’ está en Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, WordPress y YouTube. Desde su lanzamiento a mediados de septiembre unas 4,500 personas se han unido al proyecto. El Facebook con 1,800 seguidores y Twitter con 2,000 son las redes sociales más populares. También 12 pintores se han conectado con el proyecto con el propósito de tener un podio más grande para compartir sus obras.

La serie de pintores Portorriqueños durará 15 días y se repetirá con autores y pinturas nuevas en el 2016. Es la primera acción concreta que el proyecto toma dirigido hacia Puerto Rico. Como promoción hoy se lanzó un video cortico sobre José Campeche. Más videos seguirán durante los próximos 15 días.

Más información: Facebook: | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr | WordPress | Google+YouTube | E-mail
Lunes, 9 de noviembre 2015

 

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The hierarchy of Colonial Society

Agostinio Brunias 2

His paintings are nowadays viewed as artistically complex visual documents showing European imperial history, but in his time Agostino Brunias (1730-1796) was considered to be subversive for showing interaction between the West Indian natives and the wealthy colonial.


By Jorge Cuartas

Agostino Brunias was born in Italy and moved to London in 1758, where he became a respectable mural painter of stately homes. In 1770, at the height of his career, he left London to settle in Dominica, then one of the newest West Indian colonies of Britain.

Initially commissioned to depict the upper-class plantation life, Brunias soon started to use the forested mountains and rivers of the West Indies as background for paintings of the people around him, who in most cases were colored. He presented a romanticized image of the colonized regions, showing interaction between the natives and the wealthy colonial settlers, while obscuring the realities of plantation slavery.

Agostino Brunias - Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape

For a long time Brunias’ work was deemed valuable only for the classical qualities and elegant poise of his figures. Since the 1980-ties however, his paintings are considered to accurately relate the hierarchy of colonial Caribbean, in a way illustrating the history of slavery.

“Brunias’s images are among the most important relevant pictorial source materials for the study of the historical West Indies. Very few of these images have survived.”

Anthropologist David C. Devenish

The main reason for this change in evaluation are the magnificent detailed textiles worn by Brunias’ subjects. Not only do they correspond with many firsthand European accounts, they also articulate the hierarchy of colonial civilizations. Denim is for field slaves, while extravagant materials and colors are worn by freed slaves, mulattoes and the well-to-do whites. What you wear in a Brunias painting determines your place in Colonial society. The only exception seems to be the head wrap, which is worn by nearly all women regardless of race or social status, suggesting a Creole fashion style.

Agostinio Brunias - A West Indian Flower Girl and Two other Free Women of Color Agostino Brunias - Free Women of Dominica

Examples of Agostino Brunias paintings can be found in private collections and at the British Museum; The Yale Center for British Art; Harvard University; The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston; The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

Paintings used in this article:

  1. ‘Linen Market’ (ca 1775), Agostino Brunias, oil on canvas
  2. Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape‘ (ca 1774), Agostino Brunias, oil on canvas
  3. A West Indian Flower Girl and Two other Free Women of Color’, Agostino Brunias, oil on canvas
  4. ‘Free Women of Dominica’, Agostino Brunias, oil on canvas
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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.

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