This is WAR

More on the Tagging War. thebookmann and Adele have been privy to the many spaces in Port of Spain that feature the work of Mr. Alinton. The graffiti artists, “Louse” who we have named “UGT” (underground Graffiti Tagger) has most recently been freshly painting, seeking out fresh spaces. But sometimes, he has encroached on Alinton’sturf, and that ‘war’ is very, very interesting. The UGT had stenciled an image of a baby first on one side of the wall. Ye Mr. Alinton interpreted the baby in black housepaint and dabs a few black marks over the stencil as “Respect.” UGT has found is own space a few blocks further along from a huge mural done by Alinton. This mural consists of boxers, with text saying things like,“Don’t give up.” A grey painting of a boxer in his corner, straining to make it to the next round. “Fight a good fight.” A overly sexualized woman in pink with enormous breasts, a green handgun exploding, all against a very textured stone wall, in full colour. UGT has found is own space a few blocks near Green Corner, Port of Spain and along the wall there is a hand, a spray can, and the peeing boy, like a notebook of signs that he test strips, to place elsewhere in the future. What we are seeing is a marking of territory in an aggressive way which both graffiti artists are evolving before our very eyes. – Adele

Painter Of The Year – Trinidad and Tobago

Creativity is born in the bowels of Trinidad and not in the galleries…

The images you see here are the ravings of a mentally ill painter, probably someone who has never ventured into a gallery space. As thebookmann and Adele were taking pictures, a woman walking up the street informed us that the person who makes these images is homeless. He has expanded his public canvas from across the street from the PNM house to across from the site planned for a new Indian High Commission, as well as a few hidden side streets of Port of Spain. What is clear to us now, is that Mr. Alinton, as we try to make out the name that now embellishes the walls with equal gusto, is adding text and making bolder and bolder statements about the state of the country, the difficult emotional congress between men and women, the status of blackness, the search for identity, the threats of living on the streets and the desire for hope.

This we see in the face painting with one eye placed over a circular hole placed for a electric meter. This hole suggests possibilities of something better to live for, something untouched by ‘our’ reality. Two weeks ago many artists went to Soft Box to see “A Suitable Distance.” Meanwhile, a suitable distance away, a tag war goes on without fan fair between Mr. Alston and the ‘Underground Graffiti Tagger called “Louse“. For real ‘turf’ on the city streets. Nothing is sacrosanct, you may have walked over a tag or a painting And didn’t even know it. Here on the gritty, filthy floors and walls of Port of Spain, house paints come out in the heat of the day and treachery of night. Real heart to heart, painful, passionate needs to create, while elsewhere Artists grapple with finding a way to make art they claim, for the public, and woefully miss the mark. See the
Some of Mr. Alinton’s imagery are painted in black upon black of black people, which reminds me of the work of the painter Chris Ofili in its desire to tell stories of pain and pride. For Mr. Alinton, you can go to his gallery whenever you want. Real art is happening here. – Adele

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