Apposing Beliefs

Top: A peeing boy stenciled on a public toilet wall, Port of Spain, Trinidad West Indies. Centre: Christ in Trinidad painted on the wall opposite the PNM headquarters, Newtown, Port of Spain. Curiously something is happening in and about Port of Spain and that is the proliferation of street graffiti. At first, thebookmann was intrigued with the work of a graffiti artist whose reproductions of spray- painted stencils were placed in abandoned locations throughout the capital. But the reoccurrence of the Graphics are now becoming too common, and the convention that it once achieved is slowly dissipating. Also, other artists have begun to encroach on the spaces where the graffitist had marked his territory with the words, “louse“, and they may be attempting to give an intellectual meaning to an ambiguous art project by piggybacking rather than having an independent voice. Whether “Louse” knows it or not, the question here is does it really fit into the category of street art gorilla tactics.

Yet, for the street artist whose work has developed into a narrative of hope, faith and compassion, his genuine words and images speak of national unity mixed in with the island’s social ills. Since 2004, thebookmann has documented his work, and what began as an elaborate drawing of colonialism has expanded into genre towards paintings. His canvas is a large white public wall opposite the PNM headquarters, Newtown, Port of Spain and his recent addition to the mural is the Crucifixion of ChristSee more of his work. executed as a wash in black paint. He has also highlighted the crown with hints of red colour, emphasizing the incrusted thorns, and his dreadlocks that hang are shown. This detail shows his sensitivity towards to his faith and temps a nostalgia only the artist himself envisions. In addition, there is a locomotive painted quite similarly and adjacent to the Crucifixion.

And like being in a empty cinema and people come up to you and sit next to you, in the abandoned NP gas station in St. James, Trinidad, West Indies, where “Louse” has marked his territory, a small and nearly unnoticeable stencil of the State’s aerial blimp is placed by Nikolai Noel from the Galvanise Art Project right: Sabrina Charran’s stencil pasted as a drawing on wall close to the National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago, and on the wall next to the familiar graphic as in the top left image – Both are bogus attempts to be clever and lack the originality to stand as art on its own.

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