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 ‘Awewe faaka tiki 2’, mixed media on canvas, 66 cm wide x 83 cm high, 2013, by Marcel Pinas.
Several years ago Marcel Pinas (Pelgrimkondre, Marowijne, 1971) rediscovered drawing. Not the realistic type of drawing he once started his career with, but animated black shapes on a white surface. Those shapes are derived from Afaka-characters, the syllable script that was developed early on in the 20th century in his birth district by Afaka Atumisi. From a distance they resemble swarms without a clear identity. Occasionally he adds a smudge of color or a smudge of black.
In this work he combines this new development with the work that he made earlier. Here the black signs become part of a larger whole. They look like they have been strewn randomly on top. The center of the work shows the shape of a cross, made from pieces of pangi cloth. The cloth refers to the traditional Maroon culture, the cross does not have a religious background, but it refers to his youth, during which playing and various games were part of daily entertainment. The color smudges that have been added to the work supplement that interpretation. They come across as the visual language of a child. Similar to the visual language that also inspired CoBrA-artists such as Appel and Corneille.
Pinas often fills his canvas or sheet of paper completely. He creates the necessary depth by layering color and image planes over one another. In comparison, this work is rather bare and austere. The effect of the bareness is that the attention of the viewer becomes focused on the center, on the part that it’s ultimately about: the portrayal of a joyful childhood in an originally safe environment that would later, because of the war in the interior, become compromised.
Marcel Pinas strives for the preservation of the Maroon culture. In his Moengo-project he does this by organizing various practical activities that could contribute to this, and that could stimulate the people’s confidence in their own capabilities. In his free work he succeeds in using an imagery that indirectly intends to do the same, but that manages to also, for those not involved, deliver results that intrigue, trigger emotions and discussions, but at the same time can and may be an esthetical experience as well.
TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, July 2015
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015
Want to see this and other work of Marcel Pinas ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Marcel Pinas please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/marcelpinas.
Marcel Pinas, ‘Afaka buku pikien 2′, pen drawing on paper, 16 cm wide x 22 cm high, 2013 – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang
Also in the Readytex Art Gallery shop:
Brochure Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event – SRD 10
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on July 15, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on July 15, 2015.
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.