AS the international art world prepares for Art Basel Miami later this year, The Fearless Artist Pop Up (TFAPOPUP) is preparing for their much-anticipated exhibition `Noise’, which is scheduled to coincide with next month’s festivities. `Noise’, a group show intended to focus on the intersection of noise and silence and the creative interpretation of that experience, will feature a number of creative practitioners from around the world including Guyana’s very own Kwesi Bovell.
Bovell will make his Art Basel debut at this year’s TFAPOPUP, an experiential art event that allows emerging and mid-career artists the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work while engaging with their viewing audience. The collective, which has expanded to include artists from over 18 states and seven countries, transforms available spaces in high traffic locations during major art events, to allow artists to connect with their peers so that they could share information and resources, all while celebrating community within the creative arts. On the table for this year’s TFAFORUM is mental wellness issues in the creative community.
For those unfamiliar with Bovell’s works, they are typically composed of varying combinations of harsh and soft treatments of his painted surfaces. While some areas blend smoothly into each other, there are other areas that are almost cut through with a graphic treatment of colours, lines and shapes. It is this tension between the two approaches that elevates his work to a new level of expressionism. His introduction of found materials (whether organic or otherwise) is something that has always been characteristic of his work, even during his early days at the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. Bovell has maintained this practice throughout the years and has embraced the additional layer of complexity and dynamism it provides by shifting his work from being graffiti-inspired into the realm of assemblage art.
“My works are created with an intense level of dynamism fused with the deliberate post-modernist bent of the street artists. I use colours in a tantalising manner to evoke attention to my heavily symbolic work.”
Bovell admits that during the making of his work he often draws on his unique cross-cultural perspective from time spent in Guyana, Africa, the British Virgin Islands and the USA to create visually impactful two and three-dimensional pieces. Speaking further on the way his works often transcend techniques and media to address universal themes, he describes his creative process as one that makes it possible for his works to remain relevant in spite of shifting art world trends.
“The freeness of my style combined with my worldly approach to the human experience has afforded me the chance to breathe a breath of new life into the ever-changing art scene.”
Noise will be open to the public from December 5th and continue until December 10th during Art Basel Miami.
Kwesi Bovell (b. 1976 in Georgetown, Guyana) graduated with honours from the E.R. Burrowes School of Art in 1997 where he specialised in the areas of sculpture and painting. In 2003 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus.
Bovell has had several exhibitions in Guyana including at the National Gallery of Art (Castellani House) and at the National Museum as a member of the Guyana United Artists. He has also exhibited in Zambia at the National Henry Tayali Art Gallery and in Botswana where he was a resident teacher. His most recent showing was a solo exhibition at the BVI Inside Art Gallery in the British Virgin Islands and the Agora Gallery in Manhattan, USA.