Artist Statement

I see my art practice as an investigative tool, as a way to engage in dialogue, a platform for thinking and a means to develop knowledge. My work has evolved from figurative and symbolic explorations in painting to a variety of modes that include drawing, video, performance, installation and public intervention projects. Therefore, the emphasis of my work does not lie in the medium, but in creating a space to explore social contexts and collective narratives. History, film, soap-operas, fairy-tales and mythology all inform my work in that they are both narrative modes that I use as well as sites of investigation. I look for the narratives inscribed in various objects and places and find ways to add to them and at times subvert them. Because I live in the Virgin Islands, a place that has changed colonial hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States, I am particularly interested in the colonial and neocolonial narrative and how it shapes identity, memory and reality. (return to website)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Storm (and other violent distrubances of the pintoresco)

Storm (and other violent disturbances of the pintoresco), charcoal drawing, 2015, La Vaughn Belle 
I have been working on a new series of drawings on charcoal. Over the past few months I have returned to 2-dimenional works after years of working in video, installation and performance. It has been a very interesting process for me predicated by the time constraints that I have to be in the studio. A lot of the work I have been making is work that I can get immersed into quickly (and leave quickly as well) and that contain repetitive marks or actions.  I am also really examining this idea of returning to this kind of image-making and what that means to me, from this region and space and time, and what I would like to interrogate. It's almost become taboo to work with beach scenes and palm trees and I wanted to challenge myself to do that while at the same time questioning the same archetypes and stereotypes, looking for what could I add to that narrative.

What I most enjoyed and that came as a surprise while making these works was the tension between the fragility of charcoal on paper and the resilience of the image. I often work with a ceiling fan on and that in addition to the pieces getting blown about while hanging on the walls created a literal windswept effect. I was almost tempted to see what would happen to them if I left them out in the rain and wind. Another day.  There is a tension between the pristine, the elegant and the sublime in the midst of the violent chaos of the storm. 

So far the series is 16 of these drawings. I will be showing them for the first time on Thursday, November 19 as a part of Art Thursday event (5-9pm) in Christiansted at my studio located at 18B East St. Come through.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Found this shirt and it reminded me of my painting

chaney "ware"/"wear", La Vaughn Belle, October 2015

I found this shirt and it remind me of my painting, the Chaney series I've been working on for about a year now. Up until now I have been focusing on the blue chaney but would like to explore other colors too. I also have been curious about what these patterns would like like on the skin. This shirt gives me a little bit of an idea.