Known in particular for his “spots of light” pointillism artwork, Caymanian artist Gordon Solomon is preparing for a special art exhibition next month in New York City.
The Artexpo 2014 at Pier 94 from April 4-6 is set to attract thousands who will view work from featured galleries and artists.
Solomon, who is one of Cayman’s most well-established artists, has shown his work at a variety of exhibitions locally over the years. He also exhibited in a 2009 show at the Broadway Gallery in New York City where he met his agent, Basak Malone, who encouraged him to exhibit at Artexpo.
For this event, Solomon will showcase works from his “Thatcher” series. The theme of thatching, a local tradition that Solomon says he wants to keep alive and bring up to date, is dear to his heart. The show allows him to showcase thatching as it was “back-in-the-day,” as well as in its modern format, he says.
A true Caymanian resource
“The unique silver thatch is deep rooted into sand beds and rock formations on all three Cayman Islands,” he explains. “The outer side of the leaf which faces the sun is a verdant green, while the opposite side has a shimmering silver color. The young leaves of the silver thatch tree are harvested for the making of hats, baskets, rope and a variety of other items and used in the building of roofs for homes.”
The series he will feature at Artexpo 2014 will show the art form of thatching, which thrived during the 1930s through to 1970 in the Cayman Islands.
Thatch, he says, has played an important role in the lives of Caymanians since the first settlers in the early 1700s. It is a valuable part of the Cayman Islands’ natural heritage, its economic growth during the “rope making days,” as well as the islands’ landscape.
“It is found nowhere else in the world,” he states.
This exhibit will show the natural beauty and strength of Cayman’s small geographical position and its people who utilized their natural resources to not only survive but build up the nation,” he says.
“Painting on this theme to such a broad audience helps me to show the world what we have to offer here in the Cayman Islands other than just finance,” he says. “It means a great deal to me to have this opportunity to be on the vanguard of local artwork and that I am able to demonstrate a good quality body of work in this way.”
Broad audience, international exposure
Artexpo has been staged for more than 35 years, and this year it will highlight the work of some 400 artists, showcasing their work in paint, sculpture, photography and glass. The event brings publishers, galleries and collectors face to face with hundreds of established and emerging artists. In addition, organizers offer individual artists the opportunity to show in a juried exhibit of emerging and mid-career independent artists.
Among the international art world’s media at the show will be representatives from Art & Antiques, Art News, Art Business News, New York Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Observer.
“Artexpo 2014 is giving me the vital opportunity to showcase my work on an international stage in NYC,” Solomon says, “helping me in my aim to promote Caymanian talent. I feel in an artist’s life we need opportunities like the Artexpo not only as a way to make a living, but also to enhance our skills, to be challenged, to see and learn new things. “Opportunities like this can be life-changing and encouraging.”