Anything With Nothing: Kemar Black

Kemar Black at work on The Creation

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 (2)

Kemar Black – Untitled (c2012, Luke Lane, Kingston) – Photo: LeRhone Webb