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Inspiring Art Brings Caribbean Scenes to Life

Caribbean culture has always had a close relationship with the arts. As more and more artists from the region attract international acclaim and attention, the unique style of Caribbean painters is becoming accessible to wider and more diverse audiences.

Music and literature are, perhaps, the best-known Caribbean art forms. Famous names like musician Bob Marley and poet Derek Walcott have created works the whole world enjoys. But painting is growing as a recognized form of expression. Paintings that offer colorful depictions of island life and scenery in particular are popular, and Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica are the best known among these artistic islands.

Art History

The unique sights and sounds of the Caribbean have always been an inspiration to any who experience them. The bright colors of the region's landscapes and vibrant personalities of its people are particularly important in the region. The Caribbean's art history does contain a few surprises. Both Camille Pissarro and John Audubon, famous artists, were born in the Caribbean. Although their styles are not typical of the area, they have been influential in the development of the region's art.

John Audubon was born in Haiti and moved to France at a young age. His study of birds took off after his later move to America. Similarly, Pissarro was born on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, then at the age of 12 he moved to France. After he completed school, Pissarro returned to St. Thomas. When he moved to Paris a second time, he became very influential among the Impressionists.

However, Europe may only lay claim to some of the influences behind Caribbean artwork. African and Latin American styles are also strongly represented. African colors and people are often the subjects of paintings, with shades of Latin American styles to influence the images.

Artistic Discovery

Find fine Caribbean art on many islands, however, Cuban artists have been flourishing since the beginning of the 20th century. The political strife on Haiti and Cuba in particular have provided island artists the opportunity to express complex emotions and political beliefs through their paintings. These offer more than simply views of people, but views of a lifestyle

Cuba's Wilfredo Lam was one of the first Caribbean artists to gain worldwide recognition. He was known as an associate of both Picasso and Georges Braque. Lam's success and popularity quickly turned the art world's attention toward the entire region.

Fine works of art can be found on islands throughout the Caribbean, including Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Though many of the world's most famous galleries now have Caribbean collections, the Internet has also helped art aficionados access these unique styles by allowing people to view artists' works online without having to catch a plane or physically travel to a gallery or museum that features Caribbean artists.

However, fine works of art from many countries throughout the Caribbean also make popular souvenirs for those who do visit. Travelers enjoy bringing them home, and, luckily, fine arts are not included in the customs allowance for travelers returning to the United States from the Caribbean.

For anyone who craves visual art that is unique and refreshing, the beautiful works of Caribbean painters are a breath of fresh air. Artists who use the Caribbean's one-of-a-kind scenery and lifestyle as the basis for their art provide a new and creative way to view paradise.

Submitted by:

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith writes for http://Martinique-Guide.info , http://CaymanIslands-Guide.info, and other Segisys travel Web sites.

© 2006, Interactive Internet Websites, Inc.

Article may only be reprinted if it is not modified in any way, and if all links remain live.

Learn more about island arts here: http://dominicanrepublic-guide.info/past.and.present/culture/





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