Question and Answers – thebookmann
Rome, Italy, 1994
What is your fascination with Art?
I believe my fascination is with its beauty.
Is Art an easy way out?
I’ve been often told that I am lazy, and that studying it didn’t take much effort. On the contrary, I found that art practice was both simple and extremely complex. There are no equations to explain it. Yet, you need to find a balance to understand its role. Being any artist takes perseverance , self confidence , grounded focus and self criticism under public scrutiny. Either you are an artist or a pretender as one.
What does it take to be an artist?
This is a question I’ve asked artists about themselves. I think art does not esists in a vacuum. It has to be seen publicly to gave any relevancy.
So are you an Artist?
If I am honest, I will have to answer no. I believe my being an artist died when I returned to Trinidad in 1995. My paintings were too large, and my content was too religious (Christian motifs) This has deeply affected me since, I truly love painting.
When were you most happy as a painter?
My happiest moments were the painting studios at the Stewart building, Ontario College of Art in Toronto.
Will you ever paint again?
My crystal ball is whitewashed, I can only see specks of it returning far in the future
You have dabbled in photography, is this your art now?
I studied elements of photography at college, and had an exhibition in Toronto, but otherwise since, I have never made a cent from it so far. It is ironic because the bookmann blog is based in part from my work. It is also an integral part in my self-studies “feinin” collages which have been rewarding.
Where and why did you come up with the idea of the blog
I just wanted to continue photographing dilapidated building and cemeteries that I had began in Toronto, 1991 and in Europe, 1994. The bookmann began by documenting street graffiti and gave a generally analyst of it. The first wall painting online I believe was a pencil drawing of a man with his dog in Newtown by an street artist who has left it mark ever since.
You are often been mistaken for not being a Trinidadian, why do you think so?
I believe it is in my disposition, I don’t feel Trinidadian, yet the content on the bookmann speaks otherwise. I am always being asked if I am foreign by Trinidadians, hence the answer, its in my psychic perhaps I am not. I like the mystery of not knowing.
You’ve work on this project since 2004, how would you describe the process so far?
At very beginning I approached many artists if they would like to be hosted online relating to the work. The majority if not all declined. So I just went to their art openings and documented the work. My writing was viewed as awkward, yet without funding or a staff of writers, editors and photographers it has manged to be ranked in the top ten listing in Google search alongside media conglomerates such as the New York Times and BBC in its editorial content. This is really astonishing.
Why do you think this is so?
Its intention and authenticity and vast body of subjects mostly on the kitschness of street art.
Has your blog affected anyone ?
The lists goes on. I have been told that no one is doing this type of work and that I should work towards a doctorate if not already is worth in its body of research. With my difficulty in spelling (dyslexia, seeing words are images) obtaining a degree will show that levels in intelligence are not necessarily based on formal academia in learning.
Would you like to have your P.H.D.?
Yes, timely and without charge
Who are your readers?
There are a broad spectrum of readers internationally and locally. And by people who deny never reading the blog, but they obviously do.
I have noticed that you have contributor, who is this writer?
She is my light and shadow and an artist who I have known since my graphic design education in Trinidad from 1982. She has recently been crowned an “Elder” in the field of contemporary in Trinidad and Tobago.
Are you then a writer as well?
I been called a writer, so under those circumstances I probably am.
Earlier, you mentioned your self-portraits, please explain?
To understand who you are, you have to think universally to who you would have like to be. These are studies I call “feinin” , where I masked myself as icons from the past. To my knowledge it has never be attempted before.
I don’t fully understand
Whether this seems far fetched, It resonates in my mind as real and that is all what matters.
So what are you really?
I am a man in search of himself using technology as his footing. I am interested with thought and understanding the origins of it
What is your of perception from others?
Generally, people are afraid of me and my response to this is that I mean no harm other than an opinion in light of good, bad or indifferent. My views are beholden to no one other than myself. I feel a bit of flattered, but this is not its aim.
I notice that the bookmann has a series of personal quotes, I find this presumptuous in your stage of your career, May I asked why?
These quotes are about the power of thought, I trust in them totally.
Do you have any enemies?
Yes, and I thank them for pinpointing my faults
Where do you see you project going?
Truly, I desire a genuine appreciation for what I have achieved as a book or film.
And finally, what will be your legacy?
In one sentence,
Thank you Mr. Bookmann