This was late. I was 21 when I started the cloth. Maybe when I was 32 I realized I was actually working as an Artist.
Who or what inspires you?
Persons like CLR James, Peter Minshall, Keith Haring, Lloyd Best, and Christopher Cozier.
What’s unique about being an artist in or from your country?
What’s unique is that we create space but the development of those spaces is not supported by the state, the government, by the elite, by the masses. We have to fight. It’s a place where anarchy can exist easily limbo, a dance developed here to ritualize the experience of our African ancestors coming to the new world, is performed. It symbolizes that act of making space where none was provided. Here space can be created and fought for. The unequal forces of the perceived market work against your projects from your perspective.
What is it about New York that brings Caribbeans together?
Well it’s a small island, speaking about Manhattan, with a population of 50 million around it. Many of my people who have played mas (taken on new identities) and danced the limbo (adapted to fit into society given much adversity), have made the choice to migrate to New York City, mostly for economic reasons. When we are here we find each other to break the isolation.
How important is it to culturally educate through your art?
I have difficulty in answering this question. I do what I do and it impacts in many ways. What I try to place in front of you is more the politics of the body and how those bodies dress themselves. Every wearer has a different body. When the clothing is worn the person is read in many ways. It may be voiced as, “she dress nice eh.” or “why all them colours?”
What is the message that you are trying to portray through your work?
You can be yourself, you may choose to be Caribbean and Caribbean is being defined a new way every day.
What can we do to help raise artistic awareness in your country?
Let this show be seen in the islands where the artist are from.
* Be sure to check out the limited edition bags by Robert Young exclusively available at our opening show, October 28th 6:30pm-11:00pm @ Mocada (80 Hanson pl Brooklyn NY)
For more information on Robert Young and his clothing line The Cloth please visit: