The work of Sydney based artist Robin Clare is bright, vibrant, and colorful. Hailing from Jamaica, Clare’s work is inspired by the dancehall culture and Jamaican party promotion aesthetic. Her work takes cues from crazy party names and dances of Jamaican functions throughout the decades. She’s exhibited her work here in the states, Europe and Sydney with her contemporary work. She done graphic design, album art, and illustrations and recently did a collaborations with Stüssy. The featured work below includes pieces from her “Jamaica Project.” The artist says,
My painting style is directly inspired by the traditional Jamaican artisan skill of hand painted signage used in advertising. As you travel around the island there are hand painted signs on walls, bus shelters and entire sides of buildings with a variety of messages ranging from what goods you can buy at local stores and advertising for local businesses to directions and adverts for local go-go clubs. But, like everywhere else, with cheap production costs modern digitally produced advertisements are fast becoming the dominant form of written and visual communication. Enabling a transformation in the way the culture is shaping its messages and portraying itself to the world. My hand painted style is a homage to sign painting which may one day become a thing of the past.
Combining my technique with messages surrounding Jamaica’s party scene opens a dialogue between the fast paced world of the new and an often rose tinted version of the old. Jamaica’s dancehall scene which has come under fire in recent years for it’s inflammatory lyrics is an integral and often controversial part of Jamaican culture offering escapism and entertainment to a population that experiences hardship on a daily basis.
Check out more from the Jamaica Project below, and more of the artist’s work here.