Menno Baars is a Dutch cardiologist who started to paint during the latter part of the 90′s. His passion and the intense joy he experiences while painting, practically jump and burst from his canvases in the form of bright colors, thick, bold strokes and playful figures. In December 2013, at the initiative of Da Vinci Enterprises N.V., Menno Baars had his first solo exhibition in Suriname. From the 16th until the 19th of December exhibited in De Hal, Paramaribo, with his exhibition BIGI BRASA BAARS. The exhibition included a number of paintings which Baars, inspired by the tropical warmth and new sensory experiences, had painted in Suriname.
During the 20th century there were more passers by, or transients, exhibiting their art in Suriname and giving people (and especially artists) the rare chance to see art from other countries and cultures with our own eyes. Some left visible traces, like Corneille, others were more like ships passing. Remarkable is the fact that Corneille, Herman Brood and Menno Baars all use very bright colors.
This exhibition left me longing for more from ‘outside’, more from ‘beyond borders’. I do however feel it is time to see more from the artists from our region. Perhaps the Moengo Triennial in 2015 will invite artists with whom we share a cultural background.
In 2013 Menno Baars launches the Penguin Parade, a colorful exhibition of unique painted penguin sculptures. From the website: “The Penguin Parade© creates millions of smiles and raise awareness for penguin conservation.”
TEXT Marieke Visser, 2013
Note: In the literary field there have been passers-by too. Michiel van Kempen even compiled a book with their stories: Noordoostpassanten; 400 jaar Nederlandse verhaalkunst over Suriname, de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba.