Kevin Darmanie, Sketch for Cake Soap Panorama, 2013. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
Kevin Darmanie writes, “The mural is an amalgamation of images drawn together to elicit the conflict and sense of possibility spawned from a blending of two identities: the distant aggressiveness of the Caribbean and the liberal individualism of the American. I employ motifs from my current body of work: a manual construction, a popular phrase, the artist as hero and a map of Trinidad reconfigured to express American sentiments. The work is a spying glass for freedom; the viewer perceives a freedom seemingly apparent in each identity from the confines of the latter identity. The piece also asks, how much of each identity and its social values are lost in exchange for immigrant self actualization?”
After receiving his education in Trinidad & Tobego, Darmanie came to Newark and has since exhibited in a number of venues including Lex Leonard Gallery, Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Gallery Aferro, and the Paul Robeson Galleries. He is a largely self-taught artist with some formal training , whose work is comprised of comic books, works on paper, paintings, murals, and installations. His work melds such seemingly disparate elements as critical art theory and the techniques of fine art with comic illustration.