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West and West Hill Streets
Nassau, N.P.
The Bahamas

(242) 328-5800

Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Artist Directory

Kishan Munroe

NAGB

Biography

Kishan Munroe (b. 1980) was born on New Providence, The Bahamas. 

Education

As a young and aspiring artist, he was accepted into one of The Bahamas’ most successful programs for young artists, the annual FINCO Art Workshop. The FINCO Workshop is sponsored in part by the Finance Corporation of The Bahamas and is geared toward the refinement of the talents and skills of the country’s most promising young artists.

Munroe holds a BFA and MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Career

Kishan’s work has been exhibited abroad throughout the region and the United States. He has received grants and recognition from: The National Endowment for the Performing Arts (Bahamas), the Governor’s Choice Award (Bahamas) and the Combined Merit Fellowship at the Savannah College of Art and design. Kishan Munroe presently lives and works in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Artist’s statement

“Inherent to my process is the devotion toward recreating realistic portrayals of individuals close to me while capturing their respective presences and unique physical characteristics/lineaments. They are intimate and sentimental perceptions of those I thought I knew. In response to this new awareness, I use this cognizant energy to express my interpretation of their lives’ struggle.

“Born within a West Indian cultural tradition by way of African heritage, I express my ideas through its complexities: a world affected by the plight of human history and highly influenced by Western European customs. My art borrows from each unique qualities and ideas born out of this exodus. From the classical masters throughout the centuries, I adopt their earthy palette and technical style. This overwhelming influence of European traditions on my region allows me to lay claim to it as integral to my expression. I have brought these worlds together, Africa and Europe into dialogue, to invariably develop content and composition, to tell the story not only of Caribbean Diaspora but also of the human experience.”

STUDIO 

Kishan Munroe uses both photography and painting to document cultural events in society.

“Photography” is derived from the Greek words “photos” (light) and “graphein” (to draw). The word was first used by the scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. It is a method of recording images by the action of light, or related radiation, on a sensitive material.

“Oil painting” The beginnings of oil painting are recorded as early as the 12th century in Northern Europe. But it was the virtuoso handling of the medium on panel by early Netherlandish painters such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden in the 15th century that represented a turning point in its eventual adoption as the major painting medium in Europe in the 16th century. By then, Jan van Eyck had been incorrectly credited with the “invention” of oil painting.

Oil paint is highly flexible in that it admits application both in thick impasto and fine detail: countless types of descriptive brushstroke are possible in oil. 

Since it is slow drying, it can be carefully blended to make soft, seamless shadows essential for the suggestion of three-dimensional form, as well as worked while still wet. All these properties make it especially suitable to communicate the reflective properties of different surfaces, from polished marble to dazzling jewels, from soft velvet to luminous highlights on hard metal plate.

DISCUSSION 

Project A

Students should photograph an action event, relative to Munroe’s documentative pictures of the cultures he has travelled to. This documentation can take place at school during a lunch break or after school time. Teachers should get a camera or smartphone and take the students out of the classroom or to other classrooms, so each student can use the camera.

Gather all pictures and upload them to show in a Powerpoint slideshow. Let the students figure out what the subject matter is about the picture before the photographer explains what is going on.

Project B

Based on the pictures taken, the student must create a drawing or painting to attach along with the photographed image, similar in Munroe’s “If Ever I Rise”. Students will be combining two styles and media to create one whole piece. Have the students explain the media’s connection and relationship.

Kishan Munroe If Ever I Rise, 2005 Oil on canvas, 72”x 120” National Collection

Kishan Munroe
If Ever I Rise, 2005
Oil on canvas, 72”x 120”
National Collection