Bahamian artist explores new work in residency with international master artist
In June 2012, Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe starts an Artists-in-Residence programme at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, a programme which is listed in the top 20 residencies in America. Munroe is excited that he will be working along with internationally acclaimed master artist Pepon Osorio, a prolific artist of spanish descent who was recently featured on art21. Munroe plans to continue his recent explorations and investigations into sculpture which are physical incarnations and a natural progression of his body of paintings, drawings and two dimensional work.
Munroe's most recent work, Nigger Gods and Goddesses, examines the notion of “Other” within society. This work navigates themes of race, class, culture, religion, and colonialism within impoverished black communities. It also addresses stereotypes of ‘blacks’ held within many circles within society.
The function of this work is manifold. One aspect of it highlights the marginalized ‘black’ within society based on behavioral stereotypes. It also examines what it means to live with a sense of immortality in a mortal world as well as it examines the acquired religion of living by an internal, and in many ways, exclusive code of governance. It questions what does religion mean in today’s society.
The animal serves as a response to the generalization and stereotypes of blacks as angry, animal-like, uneducated, and lawless. In depicting animal as an allegory of the marginalized ‘black,’ Munroe's intention is to address these stereotypes. The paradigm between historic, civic and contemporary notions of the animal serves as a trajectory of investigation in his objects. Opposed to the negative associations “mainstream” society has about the animal and its relation to humanity, this work inverts the role of animal, giving it positive connotations.
"BIG C: Goddess of Coke (Heavens' Dust)" by Lavar Munroe, 2012
"Goddess of The Street" by Lavar Munroe, 2012
"Painting by Lavar Munroe, 2012