The Art of Ca­ribs

THE GREAT CA­RIB­BEAN SEA HAS AL­WAYS BEEN AN IM­POR­TANT RE­FE­REN­CE IN THE LI­FE OF ISLANDERS THAT HA­VE LI­VED ON THE ANTILLES BELT OVER THE CENTURIES

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - La Pollera -

Its first agro-pot­ter settlers, the Ig­ne­ris –in­su­lar Ara­waks–, left their mark in whi­te and red on eart­hen­wa­re, thus re­pre­sen­ting the sea, its wa­ters, wa­ves, fish, hu­rri­ca­nes, myths and cos­mo­logy.

Pic­to­graphy has pre­ser­ved tho­se first illus­tra­tions, as well as pain­ted ves­sels, scul­pted sto­nes and fi­nely car­ved woods.

Af­ter­wards, Teo­do­ro de Bry's first en­gra­vings, re­gar­ding the con­quest, show that in­do­mi­ta­ble and wild sea, around myths and chi­me­ras.

The fact is that is­land ar­tists ha­ve ten­ded to pain­ting their sea, un­li­ke such world-fa­mous fi­gu­res as Go­ya, Ve­laz­quez, Du­re­ro, Rem­brand, Mi­guel An­gel and Leo­nar­do da Vin­ci, who ne­ver in­clu­ded sea in their art­works.

Sea pain­ter ar­tists, lands­ca­pe pain­ters of the wa­ter in the Ca­rib­bean Sea ha­ve been in lo­ve with their sea, dream­li­ke dawns and sun­sets, they ha­ve wit­nes­sed pro-in­de­pen­den­ce he­roic deeds in na­val his­tory, fa­mous shipw­recks or the dreams and ideals of the Re­pu­blic's Foun­ding Fat­her, Juan Pa­blo Duar­te.

Pain­ting the sea has ne­ver been an easy task and ar­tists are re­qui­red to show great tech­ni­cal mas­tery. Trans­pa­ren­ces, pa­ti­nas, lights and sha­dows, pers­pec­ti­ves and pro­por­tions, are so­me of the dif­fi­cul­ties to trans­mit the dra­ma­tic qua­lity de­man­ded to “let the sea get in­to the pain­ting” as the main sub­ject of the crea­tion.

The sea, our Ca­rib­bean Sea, is tem­pe­ra­men­tal, vi­go­rous, dy­na­mic, quiet with nort­herly winds, wild and trea­che­rously pro­ne to hu­rri­ca­nes, al­ways a cha­llen­ge for tho­se who da­re to paint it, sin­ce the de­mands are nu­me­rous.

As for dra­wing, not many da­re to re­flect its his­tory as li­nes drown su­rroun­ded by li­ve wa­ves or feel the pain when co­lli­ding with re­efs.

Sea pain­ting has been pro­perly cul­ti­va­ted by so­me of our best Do­mi­ni­can pain­ting mas­ters: Luis Des­san­gles, Abe­lar­do Pi­ñei­ro, Jo­seph Gau­sachs, Geor­ge Haus­dorf, Cla­ra Le­des­ma, Ada Bal­ca­cer, Fer­nan­do Pe­ña De­fi­llo, Gui­llo Pe­rez, Yor­yi Mo­rel, Jose Gar­cia Cor­de­ro, Jose Ces­te­ros, Fer­min Ce­ba­llos, among ot­hers.

The sea as a pic­to­rial sub­ject, ins­pi­ra­tion the­me, must be as­ses­sed in depth, sin­ce its ori­gins, by stud­ying the gor­geo­us stro­kes of Ig­ne­ris ves­sels, pic­to­graphy marks in ca­ves and their myt­hi­cal/re­li­gious lan­gua­ge, com­plex laby­rint­hi­ne fi­gu­res on rocks or fi­nely car­ved woods.

In an is­land en­vi­ron­ment with a long and si­nuous pro­fi­le, with beau­ti­ful bays, quiet co­ves and picture-per­fect bea­ches, the art of sea or pic­to­rial sea pain­ting ma­kes us re­call that map of Ad­mi­ral of Ocean Sea, known as “the scratch”, whe­re pre­ci­se li­nes mark the outli­nes of Mount of Ch­rist and stamps a Tem­plar cross on it.

The­re is no si­mi­la­rity among the ar­tist that sails and paints, tho­se is­land Ara­wak or Ca­rib sai­lors that used to cross the wi­de sea on their ca­noes with over 70 ro­wers in or­der to re­flect their gods and be­lie­ves, and mo­dern crea­tors that ha­ve sea as anot­her re­fe­ren­ce in the lands­ca­pe of a com­po­si­tion.

The Ca­rib­bean Sea, on this ma­gi­cal is­land, has been, is and will be a mo­del for pain­ters, scul­ptors, en­gra­vers and dra­wers, whet­her it is quiet or wild.

“They went to ta­ke Ya­ya's pump­kin, whe­re her son Ya­yael was, who had be­co­me fish, and no­ne

of them da­red to touch it ex­cept for De­mi­nan Ca­ra­ca­ra­col, who took it down and they stuf­fed them­sel­ves with fish. Whi­le they we­re ea­ting, they felt that Ya­ya was coming and tried to hang the pump­kin back, but they didn't do it co­rrectly so it fell to the ground and bro­ke. They say that the­re was so much wa­ter coming out of the pump­kin, it floo­ded the land and countless fish swam away; that is said to be the ori­gin of the sea.” Fray Ra­mon Pa­ne, Ch­ro­ni­cler of the In­dies

“Ma­ri­na”, Jo­sep Gau­sachs.

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