Visual enterprises - Portrait Sean Drakes
Contemporary Caribbean art longs for respect.
Sean Drakes asks Christopher Cozier to weigh in on the discourse
“I have been orbiting the art world in this country since 1966, but I was seven years old,” muses Christopher Cozier. Port of Spain is hastily prepping for delegates of the Fifth Summit as we chat in the organized chaos of the studio Cozier and his wife Irénée Shaw built amidst the hills of St Ann’s.
The son of Bajans who were civil servants in Trinidad, Cozier recalls his parents’ trepidations: They were “worried, I’m a male, it’s a Caribbean society after independence”. In his teen years, he notes, “there was a sense that if you’re interested in art something is wrong with you. And all that implied, in terms of sexuality and macho culture, and that bullshit that society deals with. I kind of went through a period where I didn’t do any art at all because I was afraid of the associations and the peer pressures, and I stopped going to M.P. Alladin’s classes.” He wasn’t derailed for long. Today, Cozier is among the most widely exhibited,recorded and revered contemporary artists working in the Caribbean.
MACO Volume.12 Issue 2
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