Words by Michellee Nelson
Sign up for our mailing list.
Bob Marley’s image has become almost as important a part of his legacy as his music—both are ubiquitous worldwide, and accordingly represent many people’s first exposure to Jamaican music and culture. Now, Bob Marley: Giant, an exhibit currently at the Known Gallery in L.A., aims to shed new light on the face that’s inspired so much more than just countless red, yellow, and green t-shirts.
As St. Lucia celebrates its 35th anniversary of independence this year, its culture is about to get a big New York closeup. If you’ve ever wondered about the island’s literature, music, or art, this is definitely the moment to check it out. Upcoming festivities around New York commemorating the 35th anniversary of St. Lucia’s independence on Feb. 22 include concerts, lectures, an art exhibit at the St. Lucian embassy, and a black-tie gala.
The anniversary celebrations coincide with a revival of interest in one of the island’s most notable cultural figures, Derek Walcott. One of the most important creative voices to come out of the Caribbean in the 20th century, the 1992 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature has explored island life and post-colonial culture through plays, poetry, essays, and paintings. Walcott’s work is inspired by the natural and cultural beauty around him. In his words, “from the time I was a child I knew it was beautiful. If you go to a peak anywhere in St. Lucia, you feel a simultaneous newness and sense of timelessness at the same time—the presence of where you are. It’s a primal thing and it has always been that way.”
Words by Natalie Weiner, Photo by Greg Washington —
Brooklyn-based, LA-raised artist and Complex art director Brent Rollins doesn’t exactly need to pad his resume. The half-Bajan, half-Vietnamese illustrator has designed album covers for Black Star, Blackalicious and Freeway, and the iconic logo for the classic movie Boyz N The Hood.
Words by Natalie Weiner—
Miles Regis is an LA-based, Trinidad-born visual artist whose work is being featured at the Art of Fusion MIA exhibition as part of the Art Basel Miami festival. Regis comes from a family of artists, who encouraged his artistic ambitions in a variety of different media. Although he painted as a teenager, he achieved initial recognition as a vocalist in Trinidad, working as the lead singer in bands Kysofusion and Fireflight. It wasn’t until after he got a degree in creative writing from USC that he began to paint, getting his first big break when one of his pieces was featured in Erykah Badu’s “Next Lifetime” video.
Words by Natalie Weiner— Art Basel, though legendary in the art world (and for the crazy parties that inevitably go along with it), is not necessarily known for its commitment to diversity. Miami is just one of the festival’s three locations, and especially given the extraordinary variety of cultures found there, the main exhibition is often surprisingly unrepresentative. Luckily, local Miami arts organizations that work to advocate for diasporic artists time some of their most exciting exhibitions to coincide with the festival.
The “Caribbean Fantastic” exhibit, for example, is taking place at the Multitudes Gallery whose curator Babacar Mbow specifically focuses on presenting art from around the African diaspora. This exhibit, which runs from December 3rd to January 2nd, is centered on Haiti and features Haitian artist Jean Claude Legagneur. Legagneur’s work uses bright colors and strong textures to show the many different faces of Caribbean and American culture, generally through intimate portraits. The show opens tonight, and naturally the gallery is throwing a party to celebrate – specifically, a “Night of Haitian Diplomacy” for Haitian, American, and Haitian-American art fans to eat, drink, and enjoy the paintings. It starts at 7:30 – check out all the details here.