This article was originally published in the South Florida Times.
Diaspora Exhibit Captures Carib~bean Essence
Diaspora Exhibit Captures Carib~bean Essence
by Kimberly Grant
I’m not one for attending gallery exhibits. Most of the time, what people deem as art is just one hot mess to me. When I do view art, I tend to gravitate to art that is aesthetically pleasing, which probably makes me an art neophyte.
The Diaspora Vibe Gallery, the only gallery I seem to have an interest in these days, is a good space for art catering to an urban clientele. It’s a decent-sized space with solid hard wood floors and white walls that come alive with art. The gallery’s latest exhibit is an ode to Caribbean artwork, called Carib~bean, The Way You Like It. Seven artists have chosen the gallery to showcase a few of their paintings and renderings of Caribbean life.
Patricia Boyd-Roldan, whose inspiration came from living in the Philippines for a period of time, has a collection of paintings that are of tropical flora. The detailing in Roldan’s paintings is magnificent and aesthetically pleasing. The artist also captures the serenity and beauty of nature at its most colorful.
Lisa Remeny, a native of Miami and a California College of the Arts graduate, loves to paint seascapes and play with the sun and the moon. Her oil-based paintings, inspired by islands from the Caribbean to the South Pacific, are large and seem to bring rays of sunshine to any space. Remeny’s A Little Way Different, with its turquoise-colored wood and splash of orange is gorgeous.
A Little Way actually made me want to escape within the turquoise of the wood. With its shadow of palm leaves and vibrant colors, it creates the perfect Caribbean vibe.
Brian Wong Won, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, grew up a stone’s throw away from where Carnival is held and his paintings are inspired by happenings in the annual street celebration. The artist had a bad experience at Carnival when he was 4 years old that obviously influenced his view of the festival. His paintings seem happy, at first, but the worried looks on the faces of some of his people convey an eerie vibe.
Paul Chang, a native of Surinam, has always been inspired by flora and fauna and bright colors, but has taken a different approach to his paintings on show.
They don’t appear to say much. With their splashes of earthy colors and random shapes in the middle of seeming chaos, his collection is the least sensical of the entire exhibit. None of his paintings have any rhyme or reason and don’t appear to match up with their titles. I didn’t like this collection.
Jeremy Powell, a native of Port Arthur, Texas, has lived in Puerto Rico and Barbados. He refers to his style as “expressive vignettes of the moment.” His six paintings, simply titled Marchand, are essentially expressions of the same unattractive woman. Assuming her name is Marchand, she looks different in each painting, old in one and younger in another.
Carol Ann Taylor, a famous Caribbean artist, was nice enough to make available on loan to Diaspora Vibe a few pieces from her collection, especially by Carol Jaime and Norma Trimborn. Jaime’s entry, a black-and-white piece titled Ruby, conveys a certain depth but is not easy to look at. Trimborn, on the other hand, seems to have captured life in a small Caribbean town called Simpson Bay. Her people are all faceless and can signify any one person living in the Caribbean.
They live in run-down houses next to a beautiful ocean. The contrast speaks to the poverty of the people and the beauty of the landscape. It’s brilliant.
There are wonderful pieces in the showroom, including the archaic, yet modern furniture courtesy of Koji Collection and Madoka Design.
Diaspora Vibe’s curator, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, adds a nice touch to the entire exhibit by displaying art books dedicated to Caribbean painters and artwork. If you go to this exhibit, be sure to take a look into these books; they are just as engaging as the paintings on the wall.
Kimberly Grant may be reached at KAliciaG@aol.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DISAPORA VIBE GALLERY. EXPRESSIVE: Ruby, painted by Norma Trimbourne, is on display in the Carib~bean, The Way You Like It exhibition at the Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Art exhibition titled Carib~bean, The Way You Like It
WHEN: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday through Sept. 23 and Saturday by appointment.
WHERE: Diaspora Vibe Gallery, 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami
COST: Free to the public
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 305-573-4046 or log on to www.diasporavibe.net.