Size Matters: Jamaican artist Patrick Waldemar launches distinctive exhibition

Jamaican artist Patrick Waldemar opened his latest exhibition Size Matters on December 12, at the Toyota Jamaica Showroom on Old Hope Road, St Andrew. The exhibition will last for ten days.

“The response from the guests has been pretty good. Everybody loves the show,” he said.

The theme for the show, Size Matters, comes from the fact that several of Waldemar paintings in his signature watercolour style were done to a specific size – 8 by 8 inches.

Patrick Waldemar elaborated on the theme of the exhibition, “The theme… is also meaningful in the sense that those eight inches by eight inches, to try and cram a scene into that requires one mindset and by the time I go to my other mid-sized watercolours I’m a lot freer.

“When I get to the really large ones then it’s almost like although they’re that large it’s back to the eight by eight, because your eye being that up close to the canvas you can only take in so much at one time. So it’s constantly up close work, stand back, look,” Waldemar shared.

Other than size, the inspiration ultimately for the exhibition was his urge to paint his vision of slices of Jamaican life.

“I just have to paint. I constantly am inspired by different things. My last show was a bit more political, this one is a little bit more memories of Jamaica out of my imagination,” he said.

Beyond the physical differences, Waldemar’s art is spread across old and new technology, from his watercolours, and acrylics, to images drawn on his iPhone.

“Where the watercolours are concerned you have to paint backwards because I don’t use white paint, so anything that’s white has to be left alone and then you paint in reverse going towards the darker colours.”

Waldemar has been drawing and painting for as long as he can remember. Despite his parents objecting and trying to force him into more traditional occupations he held fast in pursuing his passion.

“Some people say the local art scene is ailing, but I know that there are several artists who are doing well locally and internationally especially”

— Patrick Waldemar

His work has been seen the world over, and he now spreads his time between New Orleans, Louisiana and Jamaica. He said his reception on the wider scene has been as more of an artist of colour, rather than based on his nationality. His travels back and forth, means Waldemar is still cognizant of the local art scene.

“Some people say the local art scene is ailing, but I know that there are several artists who are doing well locally and internationally especially,” he emphasised.

He highlighted names like Ebony Patterson and Carol Crichton.