Photography by Wolfgang Bender
The Rastafarian religion of Jamaica came to prominence in the late 1960's and early 1970's, and was given international exposure through the music of one of its main exponents, Bob Marley. Music, and Reggae music in particular, was the centerpiece of Rasta creativity, but Rastafarianism gave rise to a whole new cultural movement, of which visual art was one of the many components. “Official” recognition of Rasta art may be traced to1980, when the National Gallery of Jamaica installed a new section dedicated to 'intuitive' artists—untrained artists who were previously described as “primitive” or “naïve”—including those of Albert Artwell, Ras Dizzy, Ras Daniel Hartman, and Leonard Daley, to name a few. But beyond that, little recognition has been given to Rastafarian art as a particular genre within Jamaica. The works presented in The Rastafarian Art of Jamaica introduce a selection of prominent Jamaican Rastafarian artists.The collection is accompanied by photographs that depict everyday life among Jamaican Rastas, and scenes from the environment in which the artists live. In addition, there are interviews with a number of the artists, a chronology of events in the development of the Rastafarian movement and Rastafarian art, and an index of the artists and their works.