Visual Culture: Caribbean Art Takes Over NYC

Words by Jesse Serwer—

New York City is the biggest melting pot for Caribbean culture there is, so it’s affirming to see the city’s cultural institutions finally put together an event that’s reflective of this. Spread out between three venues—El Museo del Barrio (through Jan. 6); Queens Museum of Art (through Jan. 6); and the Studio Museum in Harlem (through Oct. 21)— “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World” is “the big art event of the summer season in New York,” The New York Times wrote, and “likely the most expansive art event of the summer,” according to ArtInfo.

The show includes paintings, sculptures, photography, video and historical artifacts from across the islands and Latin America’s Caribbean coasts, by artists from unnamed Surinamese dioramists to Basquiat to rising Jamaican talent Ebony G. Patterson. In case you’re wondering, yes, a ticket bought at one of the three venues will get you into all three (but no, it won’t cover your taxi or subway fare from Manhattan to Queens.)

We haven’t had the chance to check out the full show yet but, in the words of one of our esteemed contributors, “it’s pretty awesome.” Here’s some highlights, via ArtInfo’s slideshow.


Yeni y Nan’s “Simbolismo de la cristalización, Araya,” 1984/2010 (Courtesy of Henrique Faría Fine Art)


René Portocarrero’s Cuban Carnival, 1953, (Bacardi Collection)


Edouard Duval-Carrié’s Le General Toussaint Enfumé (General Toussaint Wreathed in Smoke), 2003 (Collection of Mireille Chancey Gonzalez)


Ebony G. Patterson ‘s Untitled Species I, 2010–2011 (Collection of David Beitzel)


Dudley Irons’s Black Star Liner, 1995 (Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection)

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