Friday, December 7, 2018

Gulf Caribbean Updates

...In 2010, Nativo returned to Guatemala, where he attended his first Mayan ceremony and discovered his nahual (Mayan animal spirit), beginning an intense spiritual journey. Two years later, Nativo took a 16-hour ride through mountains and jungle to meet with producer and Stonetree Records founder, Ivan Duran, at his studio in neighboring Belize: “His songs struck me like instant Polaroid pictures into the soul of a young and proud indigenous generation that had finally woken up in Guatemala. I remember thinking, “There’s hope! The resistance is not dead!” More>>

Renee Stout's "Guardians of the Parallel Universe" More>>

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture explores Caribbean identity through photography, criticism, and personal narrative. Taking an unapologetically subjective Caribbean point of view, the author delves into "Mas" -- a key feature of Trinidad performance -- as an emancipatory practice. Kevin Adonis Browne divulges how performers are, or wish to be perceived. More>>

The Haitian Surrealists that History Forgot: Despite the hardships Haiti has endured since its slave population rose up to established the world’s first black republic in 1804, its people have created a unique culture. Haitian novels, music, and poetry rank among the best in the modern canon, yet nowhere is Haiti’s legacy more apparent than in the voudou-inflected surrealism of its visual art tradion. More>>   See Also: PÒTOPRENS:The Transcendent Spirit of Haitian Contemporary Art 

The American South, the Gulf South, the Global South and the Caribbean all share a common history. It is a legacy we would like to think has evolved and is now in our past, but the current American president seems intent on routinely reminding us of our plantation history when humans were like livestock and children could be taken from their mothers at the whim of the rich and powerful and their laws. Here Rhiannon Giddens reminds us of a history that evolves but never completely changes.

How Jason deCaries Taylor Built the Largest Underwater Sculpture

Just off the coast of New Providence, Bahamas, is Jason deCaires Taylor‘s 18 foot, 60 ton Ocean Atlas statue of a young Bahamian girl who appears to be holding up the ocean just as Atlas held up the heavens. Here Taylor, the creator of Grenada’s Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, explains how he did it. More>>

Our Affiliate Joan Duran & MID51's Sara Martinez Explore Western Art Modalities Encountering Global South Realities at DAK’ART 2018: this this stunning image and text rumination>> 
See Also: Marisol Rodríguez on Curating Dak'Art 2018
See Also: Yasser Musa in Bitacora

The Lost Legacy of West Indian-Chippewa Artist Edmonia Lewis

"Her Roman studio was a required stop for the moneyed class on the Grand Tour. Frederick Douglass visited her. Ulysses S. Grant sat for her. She made busts of John Brown, Abraham Lincoln and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow... Her sculptures sold for thousands of dollars, and she had commissions from wealthy patrons on both sides of the Atlantic. When the U. S. celebrated its centennial in Philadelphia in 1876, she was invited to submit her work. Her piece, “The Death of Cleopatra” — more than 3,000 pounds of Carrara marble depicting the Egyptian queen with one breast bared and quite dead — created a stir for its commanding realism..." More>>

New Danish Monument by Jeanette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle Memorializes Virgin Islands Slave Revolt Leader Mary Thomas

Few remember that the Virgin Islands was once a Danish colony, but our friend, Danish artist of Trini descent Jeannette Ehlers, teamed up with Virgin Islands artist La Vaughn Belle to create a 23 feet tall monumental sculpture: I Am Queen  Mary.  Premiered in Copenhagen on March 31st, it is the first large scale public art work based on Denmark’s colonial role in the Caribbean and those who fought against it. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sale  of the Virgin Islands to the United States in March 1917, it reflects on Denmark’s slave legacy and its colonial past as it reveals how artists can be leaders in this conversation. Read More>>   See Also: Ehlers' Black Magic at the White House>>

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ulrick Jean-Pierre at the Spencer Museum

Haitian born, New Orleans-based painter Ulrick Jean-Pierre's new exhibition explores the deep historical connections between Haiti and the United States through the lens of contemporary Haitian art. Both the United States and Haiti were impacted by complex encounters among European colonizers, Indigenous populations, and enslaved peoples. These nations share common revolutions for independence and violent but ultimately successful attempts to abolish slavery. The ongoing migration of citizens between Haiti and the United States has led to hybrid forms of architecture, language, food, and religion... More>>

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Remembering the Darkly Incandescent Genius of Trinidad's Untethered Native Son, V. S. Naipaul

"V.S. Naipaul showed us how to transform the rage and grief of the dispossessed into a creative and destructive force. He wrote with acid accuracy, dissolving down to the irreducible thought. That was the severity of his sentence... Who else reminds us that the tag of the happy-go-lucky Trinidadian is a kind of farce? T&T is the province of picong, an art that Naipaul mastered. In Trinidadian language and laughter, there is often something barbed sub-rosa... He could come from nowhere else. At his worst, he was unforgivable. But his best work turned back on him like an ouroboros.  If he despised us, his ear loved us dearly..." More>>

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 by Jose de Salazar y Mendoza / Ogden Museum. "Ultimately, it was New Orleans' global, often exotic citizenry that made it such a rich milieu for portrait painters and nowhere is that more evident than in Salazar's portrait of Marianne Celeste Dragon, a Creole of French and Greek ancestry whose charismatic presence epitomized the social mutability of this city's unusually prominent mixed race community. Swathed in blue silk and pearls, she lives on as a kind of Louisiana Mona Lisa, mysterious not for her coyness, but because she appears so completely at ease with who she was, in a place and time unlike any other..." More>>