Mosera unveils new work at Dream International
GREAT BAY 18/18/2018 – St Lucian born artist, Ras Mosera, will be unveiling his newest series “Pique-Nique” at Dream International art gallery tomorrow at 7 p.m. Mosera will represent the apex of visual arts in the Caribbean where colors, shapes, and design reflect the eclectic nature of the environment. Boundaries are crossed with bold shapes and silhouettes, as the artist creates without filter or convention. With more than 30 years of painting in St Martin, Mosera opens yet another chapter in his career with the Pique-Nique collection.
“I started painting because I felt my creativity screaming,” Mosera stated, “I dropped out of school at the age of 16, and dabbled in electric and telephone enterprizes, but wasn’t happy. The creativity within me was screaming and I knew that I wanted more – so I had to take the chance at self-employment. My inspiration comes from watching women and normal human interaction, and I paint the simple things in life – trying to magnify the ironies simplicity.”
“At Dream International art gallery, the public will be invited to come and have a drink, chat, purchase paintings, and have a fun time at this social activity. I will be presenting new and former works that will be seen by the public for the first time. Paintings having to do with the theme “Pique-Nique”, which could be a simple subject but I tried to infuse or transform it into something magical. I want people to see my work as patrimonial in the local sense and still recognize that my work tries to transcend local and regional boundaries.”
By Julie Alcin; For Today Newspaper .
Curaçaolean art critic Verele Ghering writes for Amigoe: “What is special is that [Ras Mosera] is internationally oriented, but manages to strongly convey a multicultural layering – proper to the Caribbean – on the canvas. Many stylistic influences overlap in Caribbean art; it is a cultural mix, eminently hybrid. Mosera shares with Picasso both an orientation to African masks and cubism. His faces have sculptural – cubic – shapes, frontal eyes and straight noses. In this way he keeps the people on the canvas universal, namely, hidden behind masks. He knows how to combine the influences of the many myths beautifully into visually powerful works of art. ‘El Coco’ (Number 8) has no clothes but does wear an expensive watch. In a very subtle way, he shows us the hybrid reality of the Caribbean. […] The color schemes and color combinations are beautiful – a treat of blue, red, yellow, orange and purple. [His paintings display a] varied and integrated use of color and flatness of shapes that remind one of textile designs. Lots of gold and bright colors, but also understated tones where appropriate. He replaces the usual perspective with a viewpoint that shows the object of the painting from different angles simultaneously; the flat surface becomes accentuated as it were. A creole identity is unmistakable: [his work is] a kind of carnival on canvas, universally exotic. Fortunately, he does not fall into clichés but knows just how to depict a subtle, spiritual, inner vision of his own reality in his works. Definitely worth a visit.” The full, original art review (in Dutch) appeared on p. 4 of the May 24, 2017 print edition of Amigoe.
“The desperado leads a risky life and so does Ras Mosera as he goes through borders with his profound creations. Mosera represents the apex in the visual arts of the Caribbean where colors, shapes and designs reflect the eclectic nature of the environment. With his art he crosses boundaries, as he creates without filter or convention. This St. Lucia-born visual artist has been living in St. Martin for more than 30 years. With the Desperado collection, he introduces us to a new chapter in his career.”
At the crossroads of politics and art
“GREAT BAY – A shaggy black dog streaked with silver came to the gate, curious to see who was visiting deep in the heart of French Quarter late yesterday morning. A tall dreadlocked figure emerged from the house and yelled out. The dog hustled back, half wanting to see the visitor and half wanting to obey. Mosera the artist stood in the sunlight with a warm smile and a polite greeting.With the introductions completed, he walked through his lush garden up toward the porch.Plants were everywhere, both inside and out, neatly kept in pots. While the sun climbed highand hot, the house was open and cool, as inviting as its host. It would turn out to be a few hours of lively discussion, at turns about politics and at turns about culture and the crossroads between the two, but always generously interrupted with long bouts of cheerful laughter.The Caribbean is a complicated place,” he mused, as he sauntered past shelves stacked with books.
“St. Lucia is more French than St. Martin, yet it was held by the British for so long,” he continued, thinking of the irony of French Creole spoken on a former British island and the French names that still permeate much of St. Lucia, much like the English that persists on St.Maarten. “It’s complicated. I wouldn’t like to be a sociologist in the Caribbean. You’d go mad.”He continued on toward his studio where he paints, a mostly open and amply lit space with“ abundant natural light. It is the quintessential artist’s studio, stacked with some of his most recent work and with interesting artifacts tucked away here and there, a laboratory for ideas. A shock of color and clean, vivid images immediately hits the eyes when you enter Mosera’s studio.Card players
“What makes an artist different from others is the emotion he exudes.”
And it’s not always about technique. “If it doesn’t have emotion, forget about it. Some artists get it, some don’t ”
“The human subject is very interesting,” he said. And most of Mosera’s subjects are women. He occasionally paints live models, too, some in the nude. “They are fascinating and intriguing,”he remarked of the human female, trailing off to an almost indistinct murmur as he tried to recall with futility the illusive charm that women can hold over men. “They are so important, so troublesome,” he chuckle He sat down and relaxed in his living room. Everywhere there is space possible for a shelf ihis home it is packed with books that help feed his voracious curiosity. “I question everything.Curiosity is intelligence,” he reflected. “You should question everything, religion, society… What is our place in the world?”That curious, boundary pushing personality is reflected in his paintings. He is not shy to venture into the erotic or the socially provocative, an uncharacteristic trait in the socially conservative Caribbean. He has, for instance, painted a caricature of a man, grotesque in his machismo,grabbing his naked genitals while gobbling alcohol. It is Mosera’s statement against the un curious, unthinking, and dormant man, still unaware of his mortality and fragility in the face of everything. His style is, perhaps, inimitable, and is without a doubt his own.Mosera is himself from St. Lucia but found his way to St. Maarten via Guadeloupe. “I had a craftshop in St. Lucia,” he recalled, where he also made posters but not paintings. He expanded with another store in Guadeloupe. Then he came to St. Martin. “I came for two years initially. Here Iam,” he grinned with arms out wide.He said that if you had told him years ago that he would end up here in St. Maarten as an artist he would’ve said you were crazy. He chuckled and said, “In life you never know what is in store.”St. Maarten is a gateway, he said. “If I was in St. Lucia, I would not have had a direct connection to Holland.” Or London, or New York, for that matter, he pointed out. He has been selected from among Dutch Caribbean artists to highlight two of his paintings in the Netherlands for an exhibition. “We have to give it that,” Mosera said of the island. “The whole Caribbean fits into St. Maarten. It’s a crazy goodness. To me, it’s healthy.”He cited Arthur Lewis, the Nobel winning economist from St. Lucia, who said that50% of theCaribbean economy is dormant, because its culture is still dormant, still nascent. “We don’t have enough cultured type politicians,” Mosera reflected. “The Arts is huge.” Across the Caribbean, he said “we do not discuss the arts enough, polish it enough.” As for St.Maarten, “we suffer from the limits of a small island” as far its mindset is concerned.His advice for genuine creativity to emerge is to foster honest, constructive criticism insteadof pandering to local talent merely for its own sake. “Before they make great strides increativity, they get swell headed. It shouldn’t be about individual egos, but more about cross collaboration. We need that kind of environment, but we’re not there yet,” he lamented. And “just be,” he stated emphatically. Stop overemphasizing “local,” which will only limit truecreative and universal potential.“Art is not money,” Mosera calmly reflected at the end. “It is passion first, business after.” Just imagine if that motto were to be applied to every other human endeavour.
By Jason Lista
” Whatever you liked about Mosera’s art, whatever attracts you to his paintings, whatever made you yearn to own any of his canvases, whatever you thought about his creativity… Put all aside until you see his latest exhibition at the West Indies Mall in Marigot- a collection of 23 painting of different styles and sizes each with the unmistakable stamp of the artist.
From Social commentary to the near –mythical figure of the female nude, from the blue to earthly maroons, from Picasso-esque cubist heads to Beardenesque collages, Mosera displays and eclectic range of inspiration and influences that keeps the viewer in an almost permanent state of wonderment. .”
by Fabian Ade Badejo, Jounalist & Freelance writer
“This typically Caribbean self taught Artist, left his home land of St.Lucia and chose to to live on the higher slopes of “French Quarter” St.Martin to call home.
The name Mosera comes from the mountain of Jordan, “Moseroth ” where the Hebrews did their 40th station after coming out of Egypt, it was at the foot of this mountain that Aron Moses brother died. Highly spiritual , this Painter/Musician bears an authentic witness to the existence of a very specific Caribbean culture. With nobleness Mosera is at the crossroads of an African -European culture both imported and imposed, this he has made his own, playing with forms and colours, to revive a very personal language, still available to all. His imagination open to us the doors of a world without borders between dreams and reality, thus sharing with us emotions that fill his “Secret garden” Mosera chose the path of expressionism to communicate with this world and which allow him to create the St.Lucian motto “Earth, People, Light”
by G.Mouial, Notary
“His sophisticated, expressionistic works hang in private collections and galleries and museums in Israel, Holland, Sweden, France, Moscow and New York. He is acknowledged to be at the vanguard of a regional school of painting that is seeking to become international, to change preconceived notions of what Caribbean art should and should not be.”
by Andy Gross, Journalist
A bold contemporary expressionist, abstract in tendency, Mosera nevertheless brings a strong sense of structure to his canvases… An artist of great knowledge for color and surfaces, he can take a color captured on a certain moment of the day and reincarnate it on his canvasses, by surrounding and mixing it with surprising and incoherent fragments of the African Caribbean World.
In his watercolors Mosera reveals a wide range of artistic knowledge, from gentle color effects, such as bleeding and to the brush sense on his paper. A single exhibition provides the opportunity for only a glimpse of his scope… Over all, no period of Mosera’s work is paramount but each period, color, serenity and composition plays a singular role.
by Ria Uterloo, Freelance writer
He prides himself in being whimsical, direct, cunning. In the world painted by Ras Mosera, there is no room for fear or dogma. He would rather provide the basis for a legacy of Caribbean household names and painters, along the lines of what the Mona Lisa’s smile means to a European audience. It is within this frame of mind that works such as “Placebo” and “New Mythology” emerged, ever reflecting his Caribbean surroundings and problematizing the social, ideological and economic space a Caribbean painter occupies in the global context.
“I am a keen observer of social conditions, the natural process. Painting can be pretty nice or disturbing, and it is not good to always be nice, it is non effective,” the artist says, leaning back in his studio above Front street in Philipsburg, St. Maarten on a Tuesday night in September. In Mosera’s eyes, painting in the region is marked by randomness, leaving room for precision and deliberation. When creating “New Mythology,” the handsome Rasta painter, who originally hails form St. Lucia and has resided in St. Martin for over a decade, aimed for those exact qualities. “New mythology is the breaking of old mythology and creating new conditions. The minotaur is a European symbol. If she kills him, that would make for a whole new era.” he pointed out, grinning profusely.
by Miriam Sluis, Journalist
Mosera returns again to his roots in Linkage
Great Bay, St. Maarten (Monday, February 08, 2010) – Many modern masters made the artistic pilgrimage to Africa seeking rejuvenation, searching for a new way of “seeing”. Picasso found it in the African masks and gave birth to cubism. Others, especially in the so-called “New World” drank from its wellspring to produce what is now referred to as “magical realism.” Without placing him on the same pedestal, Mosera, has let the Africa he has been carrying in him emerge in a different way on his canvas. In his new exhibition titled “Linkage”, he returns to a familiar space, a well-known terrain to him, where he feels at home, and where his work acquires the dimension of a “seer” who knows his medium.
Seeing is an essential aspect of the plastic arts. However, what the inner eyes see may make the naked eyes seem blind. The true artist sees with his inner eyes, where the real and the surreal are sometimes wedded through “magic”; where “reality” is not what is real, but what you make real, and hence does not have to conform to existential facts.
by Fabian Badejo, Journalist.
Interview by Dan Perkins
What are your experiences in terms of being an artist in the Caribbean?
I experience the Clash of two dominant cultures , African & European ….and my duty to interpret them in a Caribbean way , free from clichés”
Your work has two dominant themes – women and music – What do you find inspiring about these two themes? What are you trying to express through these themes in your work
“ The joys of life”
Your current show – what are the themes of the works featured in the show and what themes will you be working on in the future?
“The joys and the ironies of my environment….will try to perfect this in the future”
You use vibrant colors – how does nature and working out in nature influence your work?
“I use vibrant colors because the Caribbean is vibrant….I mostly have humans in my work…these are also part of nature….human scape etc. “