Is there a Guadeloupean art?

art

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] The real title of the original post is “Y a-t-il un art de Guadeloupe? La réponse de quelques artistes et acteurs de l’art guadeloupéen.” Samuel Gelas presents this 19-minute video focusing on art and all areas of creative work in Guadeloupe.

Marked by a strong desire to assert its identity, Creole culture influences all areas of creativity in Guadeloupe. From pictorial arts to sculpture through music (omnipresent) and dance, from literature to theater through culinary arts, everyday life is punctuated by these mixed cultures, both traditional and very trendy. Carnival time mixes these forms of expression with secular rites, ancestral percussive rhythms, songs, choreographies, adornments… It is certainly the clearest manifestation of this very alive culture.

The visual arts are a fairly recent activity in Guadeloupe (with beginnings in the 1960s). And yet, there are many talented painters and visual artists. One must point out that the sources of inspiration are multiple: between the luminosity of the Caribbean, so well-known and appreciated by painters, the colonial past, and the quest for identity… Among the most well-known artists are, Michel and Georges Rovelas, Joël Nanjing, Ano, Richard Victor-Sainsily, Bruno Pédurand, Jean-Marc Hunt, etc. … the sensibilities, as well as the styles, are diverse and varied. The Maison d’Artistes La Ramé, located in Sainte-Rose since 2002, has welcomed artists of all types and offers workshops and exhibitions. Inaugurated in 2017 by art collector Jérôme Filleau, the Guadeloupe Museum of Fine Arts, which is located on the marina of Saint-François, is designed as a traditional museum which favors artists born, practicing, or having worked in Guadeloupe.

If the contemporary visual arts of Guadeloupe do not reach extraordinary ratings in international galleries, the liveliest artistic expression on the island is that of young graffiti artists. From Baie-Mahault to Basse-Terre, from Sainte-Rose to Grand-Bourg or Morne-à-l’Eau, via the Gosier Cemetery, the vacant lots of Pointe-à Pitre or the Grand-Camp interchange, local [peyi] graffiti artists are geniuses! Using acrylic paint sprays, the artists (Jimmy Sheikboudhou, Philippe Laurent but also Pwos, Cédrik Boucart, Pacman, etc.) embellish the “butterfly island.” Thus, we discover [their art], in unusual places (bridges, perimeter walls, warehouses, roundabouts, electric transformers, bus shelters, etc.) If many of these graffiti works represent commissions from communities, today, they are recognized by individuals and also benefit from private commissions.

[Translated from the French original by Ivette Romero. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMPwN0GO3jo. Photo above: screenshot of artist Bruno Pédurand.]

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