Art Exhibition: Antonius Roberts’ “Faces of Familiar Strangers”

“Faces of Familiar Strangers,” a collection of work from Antonius Roberts’production in the 1980s, is being shown at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, from March 28 to April 30, 2011, as a part of the Transforming Spaces Art Tour. The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is located on Virginia Street in Nassau, New Providence, in the Bahamas. Here are excerpts from the Nassau Guardian:

Mr. Roberts says that the motivation for this exhibition was prompted by a desire to achieve three things; to show some of his early work not seen publicly since the 80’s; to draw attention to the blight of poverty which is, unfortunately, still relevant in today’s society; and to pay tribute to loyal collectors of Bahamian art during the 1980’s. [. . .] He also added that it is of special significance to him that this exhibition is being mounted by the D’Aguilar Art Foundation as the late Vincent D’Aguilar was one of his major collectors.

The comment from Alissandra Cummins’ review for the ‘Emerging Artists in the Caribbean’ Exhibition in Nagoya, Japan clearly attests to the motivation that prompted these portraits. “Antonius Roberts’ canvases represent portraits of human emotion and condition. The viewer’s initial response is to the impact of his powerful images of men and women; slightly enlarged heads filling the canvas amplifies the immediacy of human expression. The artist’s portraits are forceful and yet poignant commentaries on Caribbean society.”

The Artist’s Statement clearly expresses his philosophy:

“It was and is my belief that one of my responsibilities as an artist is to be the ‘story-teller’ – to create a visual history which honestly reflects the many aspects of the society in which we live. The inspiration for these evocative portraits sprang from a desire to explore the differences of circumstance between the various layers of Bahamian society – the meaning or lack of it in the lives of the ‘have-nots’, the harsh condition of their living and the substance of their lives. It was my intent to capture the hidden emotions and tell the stories etched in the lines of each face. These are portraits of people who each have their own unique character yet are joined, at that level of existence, by the common thread of material deprivation. At the same time, I questioned whether they were able to accept the hardships and restrictions of their lives and in spite of them would do whatever it took, with a degree of equanimity, to provide for their families. Could they build and sustain an emotionally and spiritually satisfying life or would a sense of resentment or hopelessness grind them down and prevail with the certain knowledge of the discrepancies between their lives and the lives of the more fortunate.”

For full article, see http://nau.live.mediaspanonline.com/news/artsandculture/Antonius-Roberts-exhibits-paintings-from-the-80s-in–Faces-of-Familiar-Strangers- and http://www.creativecaribbeannetwork.com/page/15166/en

See more on the D’Aguilar Art Foundation at http://daguilarartfoundation.com/

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