Artist Statement

About JanJak II

As an artist, I have fused together, two major elements, the colors of my native Island and my desire to translate on canvas the Caribbean identity and the Marvelous Realism displayed in the works of several Caribbean and Latin American Writers. My influences are as diverse as Hervé Télemaque, Ti Ga and Levoy Exil. New variations are pursued, but with every brush stroke, I aim to bring the warmth of the Island Sun and the desire to capture something of this unique but elusive Caribbean “essence”.

Ever since I was a child, studying various art forms at “Poto Mitan” and the “Musée d’Art Haitien”, I have been fascinated by the marvelous colors of Raymond Olivier, the mysticism of Rose-Marie Desruisseau, the shapes of Patrick Vilaire, and the surrealism of Bernard Séjourné. In my work, I intend to render a fusion of all of these influences and trends, to deliver accidental magic, simple, strange, and powerful, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, innocent yet violent like Purvis Young.

What starts out as a line, a portrait, or a still life, inexplicably takes a trip towards the unknown, and the surreal soon becomes manipulated into a cacophony of colors, leaving only a sense of confusion, yet attractive to the eyes. As temporal phenomena becomes distorted with interventions from dreams mixed with everyday landscapes, the viewer is left with a statement of joy and the feeling that working with colors suggests an authentic “Caribbean” sensibility. This marvelous fusion reveals an emerging “postmodernist” consciousness in the quest for an authentic Modern Afro-Caribbean Art.