Colorful Exhibit Previews Upcoming Caribbean Carnival
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association highlight the full regalia of West Indian Carnival costumes in an exhibition, Prelude to Carnival, at its Central Library and BPL’s Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center at the Flatbush library from August 15 - September 28. Also on display at the Central Library during the same period are Rudy Ferreira’s digital carnival photographs entitled "Devils of Paramin" and Michael Britto’s documentary photographs entitled The Spirit of Carnival.
At the Flatbush Branch will be a display of original costumes from the West Indian-American Day Parade held on Labor Day each year along Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. The elaborate colorful costumes represent different characters in keeping with the themes of each band performing in the parade. Some of the portrayals include "Keeper of the Birds" and "Cystia Thebes of Nubia" from the band Tribal Rage.
In the Balcony Exhibition Cases at the Central Library the darker side of human nature is explored in Rudy Ferreira’s vibrantly colored digital images of Trinidad Carnival’s gruesome devils. As an antithesis to other festively costumed characters, the devils’ costume is one of old pants cut off at the knees on greased bodies covered with mud or red, green or blue paint, complete with tail, horns and a pitchfork.
Ferreira employs a technique that is multi-layered, incorporating conventional photography enhanced with digital retouching. The result is eerily powerful images of brightly colored unnatural creatures. The artist says of his display "it is not merely reportage, it is symbolic."
In the Foyer Exhibition cases photographer Michael Britto captures the exuberance and essence of Trinidad Carnival that radiate from both masquerader and spectator. In this exhibition of documentary prints that highlight colors, textures and shapes, Britto features work spanning almost a decade of ‘mas’ in Trinidad. His laughing children with painted faces in fanciful dress, elaborate and ornately costumed ‘kings’ and ‘queens,’ and masqueraders resplendent in rainbow hues blaze in the natural sun-drenched energy and brilliance of the tropical isle that surround them.