An Eye for Art: Paul Chang, ‘Okeechobee’

In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed a new, informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week: Paul Chang, ‘Okeechobee’.

Paul Chang, ‘Okeechobee’ , acrylics on canvas, 100 cm  x 110 cm, 2012 | PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang
Paul Chang, ‘Okeechobee’ , acrylics on canvas, 100 cm x 110 cm, 2012 | PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul (Pablo) Chang has been living in Florida for over 25 years, but he was born in Suriname. What is noticeable, is that when it comes to his work, it does not seem to matter much where he lives. As long as it’s sunny and nature is at its best. Because flora and fauna always play a leading role in his work.

‘Okeechobee’ (2012) refers to a small town in Florida that is famous for its yearly fish festival. On the canvas there are several recognizable shapes, but the work is primarily a composition of bright color planes – painted in a loose, expressionistic style –  which are skillfully placed alongside, behind and across from one another, and come together to form a sunny whole. In a few places the paint is applied rather thickly, while in other spots the canvas almost shows through. That technique strengthens the depth perception.

This artwork is quite abstract, while other paintings by Chang adhere more to reality. He does however also make paintings that consist of a composition of squares and rectangles. Rigid squares on the canvases of the Spanish artist  Miró. The bright, cheerful colors dominate all his work.

The British artist David Hockney lived in Los Angeles for most of his life. Several years ago he returned to his native Yorkshire. There he suddenly painted stylized, intense and thus exaggeratedly painted landscapes. As though he wanted to celebrate his homecoming. That is what I was reminded of when I saw the latest work of Chang. Naturally they are different  greats, but intuitively they must recognize themselves in one another.

TEXT Rob Perrée

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld


Want to take a closer, personal look at this work? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Maagdenstraat 44-upstairs, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.comFor more information about Paul Chang please visit the website



LOGO eye for art

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on December 24, 2013 and was published in Cultuur Enzo in de Ware Tijd on December 31, 2013.

Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process.  You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.

Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery  and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website:


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