Kemar Black at work on The Creation
Kingston-based Fashion designer, musician and street artist is one of 10 artists presently featured in the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Anything with Nothing exhibition. Below is a short interview with him, produced with much-appreciated assistance from the African-Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank.
An artist and entrepreneur from “up-town and down-town”, Black was associated with Roktowa, an arts initiative based in the old Red Stripe Brewery on West Street. He designs dancehall fashion and writes music and poetry. For the exhibition he has painted four large scale versions of his dancehall fashion drawings entitled The Creation.
Kemar had the following to say: “…Doing artwork from the day my mother shove me out the womb – from me born me ah artist – from day one. Am mostly self-taught but my father is an artist, Winston Black, for years I always see my father draw and I just soaked it up. Most of my work is abstract ’cause I like to create what nobody else see. In my view the greatest artist in the world, God, I get my mediation from. So most of the time I think about the creation of the universe… to me everything is art – ’cause everything get created – you would have to be an artist to really create something…whether you are a person that writes poetry, paint, sculpt, draw or you are a doctor and create prosthetic limbs or you design cars… because even now they use certain artists like Basquiat to do the interior for certain cars like the Aston Martin… So because of those things there it always shows that without art life is not the same because life is art and art imitate life. I design clothes. I have a fashion line, I do music, poetry, I make beats…”
Kemar Black – Untitled (c2012, Luke Lane, Kingston) – Photo: LeRhone Webb
The National Gallery of Jamaica in association with ARC Magazine and Caribbean InTransit is pleased to announce Offset: Art Publishing in the Caribbean, the joint launch of ARC Magazine Issue IV and the second issue of the new academic publication Caribbean InTransit. This event will take place at the National Gallery of Jamaica on Saturday, December 10, from 1:30 pm to 4pm.
To introduce the launch, the NGJ has developed a discussion panel that will focus on the opportunities and challenges involved in art journal publishing across the Anglophone Caribbean and its Diaspora. The panel includes the editor and co-founder of ARC Magazine, Holly Bynoe, Marielle Barrow, founder and director of Caribbean InTransit, Keino Senior and Carol “Annie” Hamilton, editors of the new Edna Manley College journal Jonkunnu, Kim Robinson, editor of Jamaica Journal and Annie Paul contributing editor of Small Axe; the panel will be moderated by Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the National Gallery of Jamaica.
The panel and launch, which will be followed by a reception, will be held at the National Gallery of Jamaica, which is located at 12 Ocean Blvd, Block C, Kingston (entrance on Orange Street). The event is free and open to the public. Copies of ARC IV, Caribbean InTransit 2 and back issues of both publications will be available for purchase.
This event is sponsored, with kind support, by the National Gallery of Jamaica, George Mason University and the Ministry of Culture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
UPDATE 21/12/2011: Video footage and sound-recording now available:
Sound cloud – Opening statements
Video of Q&A – part I:
Video of Q&A – part II