Caribbean Artist “Moves” New York City: Review of Guy Beckles


Glenville Ashby reviews the work of kinetic artist Guy Beckles—Barbadian-born and raised in Trinidad—calling his work “subtle, neither realism nor abstract” but rather “kaleidoscopic, with an unmistakable joie de vivre that captivated patrons at ‘Imagenation’ in Harlem.” Beckles’ work is featured in the book Guynetics: Selected Works from 1976-2012 (National Museum and Art Gallery). Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

[. . .] Beckles covers his bases, leaving little to the imagination. He plays the part of an illusionist, but is undeniably a social constructivist. He probes the viewer who is moved to interpret, to critique. His is the artistic path of the “middle-way,” – a mélange of literalism, surrealism and the abstract. It’s an opus of work that moves the aficionado and mesmerises the uninitiated. It’s a reflection of arduous patience – long hours of working and reworking – of visiting and revisiting – of assembling and dissembling. It can take hundreds of hours – months to get it right. This is the sin qua non of kinetic art. Its exactitude demands a peculiar personality and insight. It’s an oeuvre that blends the rigours of science with the imagination of a philosopher. [. . .] He calls the experience, “a leap of consciousness, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.” [. . .] The former teacher is now a full-time artist with some forty-eight pieces in his growing collection. Each piece has become an extension of himself from which it’s almost impossible to part.

His book, Guynetics, includes a DVD that showcases this hypnotic art-work. It defines and details each piece, leaving the door to Beckles’ world slightly ajar, allowing glimpses into a paradoxical mind of simplicity and complexity. The viewer is slowly drawn into a carapace of illusion wherein reality is embedded. Guynetics also include commentaries from the finest designers and artists, including Peter Minshall who states: “When the work so clearly reflects the spirit of the maker of the work, we are witnessing truth. The artist revealing himself. He is telling his inherent truth…” [. . .] And Canadian art collector, Diane Bosworth surely encapsulates Beckles’ ingenious display in the foreword of Guynetics: “His art defies definition and tantalizes your senses visually, intellectually and emotionally. It transcends us to another lace and time. In his Kinetic Art, Guy Beckles produces vivid, intricately constructed moving images that a painting can never capture…”
Need I say more?

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