In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed an 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 he talks about ‘Mountains of Gold II’, acrylics on canvas, 130 cm wide x 100 cm high, 2012, from Rinaldo Klas.
“The Nassau Mountains, in the east of Suriname, are also under threat of falling prey to the gold rush The World Nature Fund, WWF Guianas, is sounding the alarm. Dozens of illegal gold miners have encroached upon the area, attracted by the promise of quick fortune. There seems to be no stopping it.”
A simple message on the website of ‘Waterkant’ at the beginning of this year. Behind these three lines a drama is hidden. An apparently unstoppable destruction of nature, which does not even bring any financial benefits to the country.
Rinaldo Klas – who in his work often expresses his concern for his natural environment – seems to utilize a similar method to expose this problem. In this painting – ‘Mountains of Gold II’ from 2012 – he needs very little to bring his message across. What in reality was once a green landscape and is now changed into a yellow-brown, messy, barren hill scenery, becomes, in Klas’s work, a grouping of bare, reddish brown hills under blue skies and a yellow sun.
A great part of its significance lies hidden in the colors. It looks as though the landscape is bleeding. The bright blue and yellow seem to, because of the way they heighten the contrast, reinforce this explanation. By themselves they could be seen as symbols of hope. If the authorities bring an end to the gold rush, nature might as yet be able to restore itself.
Rinaldo Klas (Moengo, 1954) has an easy, loose way of painting. Very few nuances, hardly any detailing, just rather bold strokes of paint in a limited array of colors. For him it is not about accurately portraying reality, it is about bringing across a message to a large audience. Clear symbolism then takes precedence over nuances. A billboard on the side of the road does not focus on details either.
Since recently Rinaldo Klas no longer has to concern himself with the goings on at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. That task has been taken over. Now he has more time to focus on his artistry. This work proves how important it is that he manifests himself as an artist more often and in more places.
TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, December 2014
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld
Want to see this and other work of Rinaldo Klas ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Maagdenstraat 44-upstairs, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Rinaldo Klas please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/rinaldoklas.
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on December 17, 2014 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on December 17, 2014.
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 Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.