Bernard Stanley Hoyes has vibrantly animated imaginations for over four decades now. Lauded for his keen ability to capture the radiant essence of island life on canvas, the visual master paints with fire in his brush. Italy is in for a torrid touch of the Caribbean as Hoyes joins a gathering of invited artists at the Gallery Mentana for their “International Independence” and “Light and Matter” exhibitions. “International Independence” opened last month and “Light and Matter” opens Saturday, November 2, 2013. Located in the heart of the historical center of Florence, the Gallery Mentana’s shows are a presentation displaying a collage of visual effects, including photography, mixed media and sculpture by artisans from around the world.
A cultural icon in his home of Los Angeles and the Caribbean, the invitation to exhibit in Italy is another affirmation of Hoyes’ international appeal and his ability to bridge language with the stroke of his brush. “It is indeed an honor to be invited to Italy. It fulfills my heart to know that Jamaican imagery, rooted in traditional African perspective, is embraced around the world. As a young boy growing up on the island, I never imagined that art would open so many doors for me. As one of the truest expressions of love, art has always shown itself to be a magical portal and a gateway to adventure,” expresses Hoyes.
Hoyes is exhibiting from both his “Ribbons Series” and “Revival” collections in Italy. The “Ribbon Series,” which he painted while doing a residency and exhibitions in Amsterdam, is a brilliant tapestry of color reflecting an expression of celebration that merges African Caribbean and European sensibilities. Hoyes’ iconic “Revival Series” reflects the retention and journey of African based spirituality in the Western world.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Hoyes exposure to revival cults, ceremonies and rituals planted seeds deep within that would manifest as art in his later years. His formal art studies began at Junior Art Centre at the Institute of Jamaica. At age 15 he left Jamaica for New York City. His lessons continued at the Art Students League and Vermont Academy. A heady combination of his drive to excel and the influence of the civil rights movement placed Hoyes at the helm of propelling the academy to institute social and cultural programs. Upon graduation he was the first recipient of the Frederick Stanley Art Award and saw the launching of the school’s first formal arts department. When Hoyes attended an alumnus reception some years later, to receive the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award, he felt pride in seeing the new edifice housing a formal art department. He earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts in painting and graphic design from the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
His recognition and affirmation of traditional African religion and spirituality continues to find universal appeal, stunning audiences worldwide as evidenced by his “2009 Fall Tour – Europe.” Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Cole, Steve Harvey, Keenan Ivory Wayans and the National Urban League are among his collectors. Selections of Hoyes’ work have been featured in several television shows, including the Showtime hit series, “Dexter” and movies including Chris Rock’s “I Think I Love My Wife.” President Barack Obama has even been photographed in front of his work. His craft has been fêted internationally in galleries around the world.
Hoyes’ work was displayed in Los Angels as part of the “Places of Validation, Art & Progression” exhibit organized by the California African American Museum as part of the Getty initiative “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980” exhibition; and he is featured in Lyn Kienholz’s coffee table New Art Encyclopedia pictorial, “L.A. Rising: SoCal Artist Before 1980,” also supported by the Getty Foundation.
His “Revival Series” made art history last year when the actual paintings were recreated on stage during an innovative theatrical production entitled “Seven Paintings, a Story in Performance,” as part of the “The Ford 2012 Dance Series” in Los Angeles.
Revel in the visual poetry that is Bernard Stanley Hoyes at http://www.bernardhoyes.com/