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The latest news on Marcel Pinas
(1 Jan 2009 - 1 Nov 2009)

Marcel Pinas
Staying up to date on the developments in the art career of Surinamese artist Marcel Pinas, requires continuous effort. For years now Marcel is known as an artist strongly dedicated to his culturally inspired theme; a theme with which he has managed to put the unique maroon culture in Suriname on the map in many places around the world. That has been his purpose all along; to give the culture and its vulnerability to our rapidly changing modern World, the attention it deserves and by doing so, contributing to the preservation of its cultural wealth and traditions and protecting it from eventually disappearing altogether.
With his striking colorful paintings and the strong statements of his modern engaged art installations, all addressing his now famous theme of “Kibri a Kulturu”, Marcel has made quite an impression in the many countries worldwide where he has traveled and exhibited in the past years.
Spreading his wings on his many global adventures, be it for study, exhibitions or his continuous search for new opportunities and exposure in the art world, has allowed Marcel Pinas to build an ever increasing platform for his own personal mission. For his art, his exhibitions and his studies and residencies abroad are to Marcel not just a way to further his career as an artist, but they are to him a vehicle; a means to an end; a way to build an artists’ platform, with a base large and strong enough to allow him to fulfill his most recent and urgent mission.
A mission quite ambitious, yet so inspiring that one cannot help to be drawn to its grand purpose. It involves the Surinamese district of Marowijne, which is home to several maroon villages including Pelgrimkondre, the village where Marcel Pinas was born and raised. A district ravaged by political turmoil and guerilla warfare in the turbulent 80’s, some of its inhabitants still affected by the bloody events of those days when family members were killed in cold blood and villages totally destructed. These events are often commemorated in the artwork of Marcel Pinas and several of his monuments, some erected in Marowijne, are dedicated in particular to the hardest struck village of Moiwana.
Despite it’s difficult past, Marcel sees a bright future for the district of Marowijne.
He is a man on a mission and that mission is to make Marowijne the art district of Suriname. He sees Marowijne as the place where the rich and colorful cultural traditions so unique to this country, the beauty of the tropical surroundings and the unique artistic talent ingrained in so many of its people, draw visitors from all over the world. The purpose is twofold. The district is allowed to grow because tourism will create job opportunities in handicrafts and other service related areas, bringing financial security to local communities. At the same time, young generations acquire a newfound appreciation for that which is so uniquely their own. By experiencing the interest and amazement of tourists and other visitors to their lifestyles and traditions and the potential of their own traditional art and artifacts to earn them a good living, their own perceptions will be positively influenced.
Marcel Pinas has been hard at work to realize his dream. In Suriname, in the district of Marowijne, he has long since started the process of increasing awareness by educating local communities, especially the younger generations in art and the value of their traditional artifacts. Through workshops he teaches his pupils specific skills and tries to convince them of the potential of art to positively influence the community. He uses his own experiences as an example and the attention his own art installations in the district of Commewijne already attract from tourists passing by, are a powerful practical example.
On the international front Marcel Pinas is equally hard at work, through his many artistic exploits, to create the platform which will enable him to achieve his goals in Suriname. In December of 2008 he completed a highly productive two year artist in residence period at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The artist used this period well by experimenting with new materials and seizing each opportunity to exhibit his work in several countries. From clay for example he created massive ceramic art installations of traditional maroon objects, as well as a large amount of skulls which, with their striking visual impact, truly bring home the artists warning of the danger of extinction, maroon tribes and traditions face. These works of art were part of the exhibition held at the completion of his artist in residence period at the Rijksacademie. These ceramic objects have traveled back home to Suriname with the artist and await a permanent home at a yet to be determined location in the district of Commewijne.
For Marcel Pinas the year 2008 has included exhibitions at the Beddington fine art gallery in the South of France, at “de Oude Kerk” in Amsterdam and an Art Fair in Utrecht, and travels to Mali and Jakarta. In 2008 the artist was also chosen to participate in an art exchange project called the “Wakaman Project” in which several arists with Surinamese origins were paired with each other in order to communicate and cooperate to create collaborative works of art. The results of this collaboration were exhibited in the Fort Zeelandia museum in Suriname in February of 2009. These and many other of his previous activities have given Marcel the opportunity to broaden his horizons thereby creating for himself a valuable network of contacts in the art industry. Many are aware of the artists’ mission and have been able to witness his ambitiousness, his hard work and dedication to the cause.
In 2009 Marcel Pinas continues his work with a number of new exhibitions as listed here:
• Havana Biënnale, Cuba    March 27 - April 30
• Kreyol Factory, Paris   April 07 - July 05
• Gemeente Museum, The Hague  April 25 - June 21
• Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam  May 24 - August 23
In many of the art installations which Marcel will exhibit during these exhibitions he combines different media such as audio and real life objects and artifacts with his three dimensional creations in order to create engaged visuals which depict current issues influencing maroon life in Suriname today.
In September of 2009 Marcel Pinas will commence with masters’ studies at the Sandberg Institute in the Netherlands. His thesis will be concentrated on intensive research to determine the power of art to change a community. This research will enable the artist to structurally approach his objective to create an extensive artists’ platform towards the realization of his own artist’s mission of establishing an art district in his home country.
The plans and ambitions of Marcel Pinas should not be taken lightly. The artist is seriously committed to his cause and extremely focused on building the network and strengthening the capacity necessary to achieve his goal.

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Marcel Pinas
Marcel Pinas: Maroon roots and culture oil paintings

Marcel Pinas’ last works reflect the ideograms of the painted woodcarving of the Aucaners (Maroon) tribe, of which he is a member.

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