This month, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) had the pleasure of a visit by renowned Bahamian artist Max Taylor. Called one of the country’s foremost ‘master artists’, multimedia artist Taylor has been an invaluable member of the country’s visual arts community for decades. During that time, he has produced exquisite prints, paintings and ceramic works, many of which are on display at the NAGB and for sale in its Mixed Media gift shop.
While at the gallery, Taylor took a few minutes to select the August Art Work of the Month, “Let There Be Order”, by Allan Wallace.
A former student of Taylor, Wallace’s talents can be found both within the walls of the NAGB, in the NAGB permanent exhibition Bahamian Domestic, and on the gallery’s exterior, where his mural adorns an annex wall space. The artwork of the month can be found in the northwest room of Bahamian Domestic and is part of the National Collection.
An elaborate and detailed piece, the work was completed by humble ballpoint pens on paper and never fails to wow high-school students, who are fascinated by the oversized ‘doodle’.
While many pieces in Bahamian Domestic catch the eyes of onlookers with their outstanding color usage, the black and white “Let There Be Order” easily holds its own with layers of imagery and skillful shading that offer its viewers striking depth. In the work, vine-like twists are intertwined with imagery of faces and abstract shapes, giving the illusion of a three-dimensional work.
“There’s a lot going on, but the rendition of it is done very well in terms of the technique and texture that he has in here,” observed Taylor.
“I think the technical capacity, in terms of penmanship, is very unusual,” he added.
For Taylor, the otherworldly work evokes thoughts of science fiction films and is as mythical as it is meticulous. And, despite acknowledging that much of his known work is realistic, Wallace said he finds more satisfaction in completing such transcendental and free-flowing pieces.
“I’m most satisfied as an artist when I’m doing that free-flow type of work where I don’t know here it’s going to end but I’m allowing the abilities that I possess to present something to the viewer that is kind of wonderful to look at,” he explained. “‘Let There Be Order’ is kind of like ordered chaos. My mind is all over the place. I’m thinking all kinds of different things, but because of my ability, I’m able to design it in a way that is actually pleasing to the eye, harmoniously.”
To see “Let There Be Order” and works by Taylor himself, visit the NAGB’s Bahamian Domestic.
The NAGB is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Every Sundays, locals can enjoy all the gallery has to offer completely free of charge. Contact the NAGB at 328-5800 for more information.