By Anne Hilton
Originally published: Friday September 10, 2004. Pg 40 NEWSDAY SECTION B (Trinidad & Tobago)
Study of Art in school led Karl Doyle to read for a degree in the Visual Arts.
Music was more in schoolfellow and friend Astar Bishop's line. Astar gained a certificate in Steelpan at UWI, then his BA in jazz studies at Florida Memorial College. However, he felt the urge to paint as well.
The result of their friendship is a joint exhibition which opened on September 1. There was, of course, steelpan to entertain patrons viewing and buying the work on display.
Doyle’s small acrylic “Jumbie Walk 1: was the first to catch my eye, and interesting interpretation and so moderately priced that I was tempted, but someone else was there before me. The same artist’s much larger (and more expensive” “Back to school – Pavilion” is a pleasing, impressionist piece, also in acrylic.
“Savannah Poui” being protected by a sheet of glass, had to be photographed at an angle which, strangely, somehow improved this piece I chalk pastel. A any rate, so it seemed to me when studying the photograph on the monitor. Perhaps those visiting the gallery should first try viewing Doyle’s drawing head on (as it were) and then at the 45 degree angle required to take a flash photograph of artwork under glass.
Much of Astar Bishop’s work is abstract of semi abstract. However, I chose to photograph three of his more realist works – to show that he can draw. The first, “minstrels” woke vague echoes of Sundiata – probably because this is one of that established artist’s favourite subjects. “Still Life (Fruits)” is a subject every artist must tackle at some stage in his life; the bananas and basket are real enough, the other fruits are hard to identify lending the piece an air of abstraction. “Shell study” is semi-realist, the medium is listed as pen and ink, yet the piece itself gives the impression of pastel.
While discussing the work of these tow young men, a well known artist commented on the sameness of the colours in Bishop’s abstract pieces; on reflection I tend to agree with him. At times I found it hard to distinguish one from another. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see two young men (Bishop is just 24, Doyle 21 years old) giving time to art instead of…
“The Shape of Life” – an exhibition featuring the works of Astar Bishop and Karl Doyle ends today at Art Creators, St. Ann’s.
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