Given that many people view the Caribbean as being a lively and colourful place, it is only right to expect that there will be a broad range of Caribbean art. This is certainly the case in the modern era but it perhaps took longer for Caribbean art, in the more conventional sense, to come to the fore. As you would expect, there are many reasons for this, and these reasons and the path of the Caribbean people has led to the wide diversity in Caribbean art that exists today.
Given that there was a large European influence on the Caribbean, dating back to the 16th century, it is understandable that these influences would come to the fore in many historical pieces of local art. It is also important to remember that many of the locals would not have had the time or money to devote to art. This is why the most popular forms of Caribbean art dating back in time represent songs and dance, which could be created for free and combined with other activities. This has benefitted the storytelling nature of the Caribbean people and it is something that has helped to shape the sort of Caribbean art that is created today.
Modern Caribbean art has been the most productive era
In many ways, it wasn’t until the importance of Caribbean culture was recognised by people around the world that people in the Caribbean were able to devote their time and energy into capturing Caribbean life on canvas or in other documented form. The first half of the 20th century was a pivotal period in the development of Caribbean art and its influence is still felt strongly today. Given the huge importance of religion and spirituality in Caribbean life, it is understandable that this has come to the fore in many pieces of art.
With the Caribbean now being recognised as a popular tourist destination and the spiritual home for people all over the world, there has been a greater level of diversification with respect to the art that is created in the Caribbean. There is a growing trend to create art that is aimed at the tourist and commercial market. This style of art conforms to the colourful and exuberant nature that many people instantly picture when they think of the Caribbean.
However, there is a growing trend for Caribbean artists to focus on the struggles of the Caribbean people over the years. Art provides a perfect platform to remind people of the struggles of the past. Whether this is to ensure that the same mistakes are never made again or to ensure that the trials and tribulations are never forgotten, it is clear that there is space for this style of art in the Caribbean market.
In fact, there is room for all styles of art in the Caribbean, which is indicative of life in the Caribbean itself. Different people take different elements from life on the islands and no matter what your over-riding thought or image is, there is a Caribbean art-form that will speak to you.