I call my style ‘Anthropomorphic Perception: An exercise in Ultra-Perceptive Plausible Juxtaposition.’ It entails a quest to depict the human form by plausibly and strategically juxtaposing commonplace objects to create an alternative reality. My objective is to give the viewer a viaual experience of a parallel universe within any image that I behold. The use of inanimate objects to represent the human form is reminiscent of the cruel and reductive equation that the institution of slavery imposed upon my African ancestors depicting them as merchandise to be bought and sold, in the eyes of their slave-masters.
The kindling remark that set me on this path was the attempts by my late mother to teach my brother and me to read. In her efforts to help my late brother, Eddie, to identify the map of Italy, mom hinted, “Italy is kicking Sicily”. This created an instant obsession to perceive alternative realities within any image that I behelf. This process was later intensified when I begane to understand the double entendre lyricsof the Mighty Sparrow, my favorite Calypso singer. However, after having discovered the visual pun imagery of Salvador Dalí and his precursors such as Guiseppi Arcimboldo, Merion and even Andrea Mantegna, the final catalyst was Leonardo da Vinci’s suggestion which said that “the artist who wishes to enhance his faculties for creative invention may stare at a stain on the wall and therein perceive whatever he wishes to see.” I have used this technique to discover what I call ‘ mnemonic images’ in the images that inspire me. “Mnemonic objects” are the hidden images that my mind’s eye perceives within any observed image. They are frequently reminiscent of aspects of my personal life story and also aspects of the history of my community.
Mnemonic images are the component parts of my creations, which I discovered when I scrutinize the contours of a source image. They frequently have personal significance in my life. The ubiquitous ‘hand of bananas’ is a deferential reference to the “hand that fed me” which is the hand of my late father, Mr. Henzie A. Wilson, who worked for seventeen of my formative years within the Banana Industry in my native Commonwealth of Dominica. The boats in every painting were his working capital after he left the Banana Industry in 1969. The mountains which frequently double as eyebrows are The Cabrits, located in my hometown of Portsmouth, where I first observed my parents’ sweat from their brow trying to raise us in a decent home environment. That recurrent bay with boats moored therein is Portsmouth and it represents my mother’s face, because it was in that town that my mother first stimulated my imagination towards the perception of visual puns. The inconspicuous ‘Y’ that simulates a woman’s décoletage etched on vases and which represents a woman’s accentuated cleavage are a referencial tribute to those on which I have laid my head for the past thirty-two (32) years – Y for Yvonne. Every nude, whether she be in the form of fruits and vegetables (nutricious and delectable) or a table or an apparition between trees is none other than my muse whose sinuous contours beguiled me one Sunday morning in February 1978. My eyes have not receded into their suckets since.
There is a scientific aspect to my objective in creating these images that reflect another dimension.