In keeping with celebrations for Jamaica 50th anniversary year, Jamaican artist Lennox Coke displays his 10 paintings of his Jamaica 50th series at the Wyndham Hotel in New Kingston. There is one piece “Celebrating Jamaica 50th, where dancers revel the night away to the sounds of a hand beaten drum against the background of the Jamaican flag. The other images represented are of Kingston, the major city of Jamaica and athletes which are superimposed into the colours of the flag almost creating an illusion, yet demonstrating the pride and resilience of a Jamaican people in their accomplishments.
Meantime the dynamic artist whose works are on offer for sale, also has other paintings highlighting Jamaican lifestyle, flora and fauna among other topics. It’s his second time enjoying the Suite life at the Hilton, after his first show ‘Celebrating Ten Years’ in February 2007. The 29 displayed pieces are all original, but on varied material types. He includes his latest burlap series on which he paints mostly flowers seen only in Jamaica so far. Coke says these flowers represent Jamaica as a ‘blooming’ nation.
Coke’s superb skill in painting Jamaican people improves, especially in presenting Jamaicans their busiest environment, even though his style of making the features crisp, almost ‘cartoony’ gets more pronounced. To his popular and largely collected market scenes he now indulges in street sellers such as ‘Jellyman’ which stands out. A few relaxation pieces are ‘Country Pride’ on the peaceful country life and ‘Savour’. In savour, a young boy stops on a dirt pathway to enjoy a Jamaican fruit to the last and the cool breeze of the countryside, while watching passerbys It makes you want to just take a drive to the countryside. ‘My Big brother’ is another painting showing the positive side of the Jamaican spirit of brotherhood.
Only one painting sways from Coke’s general style, where in the boy seems to be out of perspective with limbs a bit too big for his body size.
The works range from US$500 and there are pieces ready for traveling by hand.
Coke started his art career as a self-taught artist. He first basking in Jamaica media limelight was in 2006, when he first exhibited at the annual Mandeville Art and Craft fair. His work ‘Jamaican Market’ was the most expensive piece fetching a price of $780,000, while he was an intuitive.
Still the crispy effect of his works from then is still existing as his signature style, but presenting more refreshing in his subjects.
This is one of the few well-executed shows at the Wyndham. Kudos to the hotel for their continued effort to support talent in Jamaica.