Remembering Bookmann geocites 2004 – Public Art # 9

Graffiti can be a commentary of a time and place

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Along Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, a wall drawing emphasizes the significance of the “present” Trinidad. It is preliminary a pencil work traced over by a more durable crayon pigment to combat the scorching heat of this tropical paradise. This is a drawing perfectly boxed by whitewashed concrete bricks. Here are memories from an artist in turmoil, and of a country’s fast-pace whose dismissive temperament fails to honor a man’s existence.

Recorded like a stenographer, it tells a tale: “What really going on in dis place” The drawing of the Capital’s financial towers are far from the spot, but the artist’s intention to use the Eric Williams Complex as a tall building characteristic of finance, and an island in pursuit of progress set between the foundations of the society, a colonial dwelling and a church. Between these elements, a pedestrian in fast motion. These inhabitants are the new breeds marching forward to their new vocation, gripping a briefcase in one hand, and moving with no time to waste. They walk without observing

Did she ignore the pastoral peasant clothed in period not of our time.? An aristocrat who finds himself lost from the haste of progress, This man ponders in opposing parallels, ignoring what happening around him, but yet knowing. Glazing towards the past and becoming a present component of a nation in flux.

Sitting on the pavement? This is neither clear nor visible to the eye, The artist uses the lip as a bench. There is a poetic uneasiness with this drawing, it shows a proud portrait of a man displaying lines of hardship and doubt. This man is paralyzed in a motionless state,  not as a physical amputee with his cane and his loyal canine, but by time.

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No entry tickets are required here to view this public art. Just set your foot to the streets of New-Town to a vacant wall façade before the developers  move in and whitewash a poignant artwork. – 2004

Note:  In April of 2010, Clinton Anthony Cummings, known as the homeless graffiti artist  stepped onto the spotlight at Trinidad Queen’s Hall showing versions of his work on paper rather then abandon spaces, they included paintings of hibiscus flowers and portraits. This brings to an end the documentation of his work which began in 2004. The journey is complete.

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