Readytex Art Gallery
Tel.: 474380 / 421750
Monday – Friday 08.00 - 16.30 hrs
Saturday 08.00 - 13.00 hrs
The bright lively colors just seem to jump off the canvas, or from the wood, depending on what material Marcel Pinas has used as underground for his works of art. It is impossible not to recognize the hand of this Aucan artist in the selection of works he has produced especially for the Sanfika exhibition. It is also crystal-clear that Pinas is evolving, growing; and that a deepening has taken place. His art has matured, without losing the playfulness which is also typical for Pinas’ style. Art is a means to communicate, according to Pinas. ‘I líve in this society, I’m part of it. I try to voice my personal feelings on this issue and I use my art as a vehicle to do so.’ His critical vision on society is most obvious, can even almost be grasped literally, in a series of mixed media works. In this series, aluminum spoons symbolize the nation sinking to an all-time low beneath the red thread of values and standards.
Although the coloration is very intense and gay-colored; the colors that have been borrowed from nature’s splendor attract the most attention. The red of the Hibiscus, the enthralling colors that remind you of fluttering butterfly-wings, the green copied from the dense foliage of the Surinamese jungle. A principal motive that returns is the view from above into the front of a dugout-canoe. The woodcarving symbols (for the greater part designed by Marcel Pinas himself) and the ‘kibriman’ (a totem-like pole that is meant to protect the location where it is placed against evil influences) are both prominently seen in Pinas’s paintings. Smaller, but of no less importance, are the symbolical elements that he uses frequently: the ‘afaka’-writing (a written secret cipher used at the beginning of the 20th century by the N’dyuka), ‘papa-moni’ (shells that were used as means of payment in ancient times) and small pieces of panyi-cloth.
As always the artists surprises his audience not only with a superb collection of canvasses, but also with other objects of art. A beautiful series of wooden stakes with woodcarving symbols attached on top, finished in natural shades, modestly decorated with metallic wire, copper nail-heads (or thumbnails) and just a few, thin stripes of colorful paint. An almost comical effect is achieved by the long-stretchedness of some of the pieces: a ridiculously high bangi (stool), an exaggeratedly stretched washboard. Enlarged peanut-bangi’s (small stools used for shelling peanuts), an enormous large kitchen rack and iron cages with utensils inside, and some other show pieces.
Since the artist’s Jamaica-episode from 1997-1999, when he visited Edna Manley College and found and developed his artistic style, the main theme that can be found in all Pinas’s work is ‘kibri a kulturu’, or, in English: ‘conserve culture’. The N’dyuka-culture in particular, but the Bush Negro life-style in general too: that is what Pinas advocates, and which serves as a great source of inspiration too. Sanfika, the exhibition’s name, means: ‘what is left’. That seems to be the question Pinas asks himself, and his audience. And maybe he goes even further: how do we handle what’s left?
© Text: Tabiki Productions / Marieke Visser, March 2005
(read more about the artist)