Jamaican Artist

Zawdi Reece


Zawdi Reece is a painter in a truly modernist sense. He combines lush, pigment ridden brushstrokes with satirical subject matter that calls to mind the work of Belgian expressionist James Ensor. And similarly, Reece’s paintings are angst ridden, driven by the evils of society and the toll its decadence takes on him as an individual as well as others. What started out as being a statement against society while he was still an undergraduate at the School of Visual Arts, developed into a hard-hitting crusade that became almost therapeutic. In the body of work he produced as a postgraduate student, Reece’s abhorrence of crass sexuality created work that was powerful because of its ambiguous readings. Since then Reece has struggled to recapture this imagery. Like many young artists, teaching and cut loose from art school and the art world, he has had difficulty expressing his feelings with the same profundity. It remains to be seen whether he will mature sufficiently as a painter and resolve the relationship between self-loathing and self expression.