Art of This World: Tam Joseph

Shout out to all my Dominicans out there (not The Dominican Republic, but Dominica)!

Here is an artist from my father’s island, British-Dominican Tam Joseph, who is best known for his 1982 “Spirit of the Carnival (The British forces of law and order in confrontation with an ancient African Spirit)” painting, which he talks about in the video above. The painting was inspired by the Notting Hill Carnival in England where a masquerader is dressed in a Nigerian-based costume (probably the one I mentioned before, the sensay) and depicts the common conflict between black people (and by association black cultural traditions) and the police.

Joseph creates artwork that often questions society and its norms including using humor, and religious/spiritual, mythical and science/science fiction references. Eddie Chambers has said of him: “Tam Joseph is in many ways a fiendishly enigmatic figure, never quite in step – indeed, most often, out of step – with the dominant trends and sensibilities of the British art world. By stubbornly refusing to be typecast (and refusing – with equal fortitude – to jump on any bandwagon that might be passing) Joseph has, possibly, ended up in the curious and unenviable position of having his work known by reputation, rather than by the quantity and frequency of his opportunities to exhibit.”

Joseph will present new artwork at an exhibition from June 18 to 21, 2013, at ArtWorks Project Space (Barbican Arts Group Trust) in England. There will be a private viewing on June 18, from 7:00 to 9:00pm. For more, click here. By the way, one interesting fact about him is that he work on the Beatles’ film for “Yellow Submarine.”

“Ear To The Ground I Heard Tomorrow Pass By” (1980s)

“The Dogon’s Tale”

“Beam Me Up Sweet Lord”

“Flying Doctor”

“Dissecting Time”

“Uk School Report” (I like the link between the changing looks of the black boy and the increasing criminality of him)

“Hey! You Forgot to Blacken Me In”

“Mr Frog Has The Last Laugh” (2000’s)

“We Need Your Help to Identify These Aliens”

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