Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Bahamanian Print Contender: John Edward Cox

All my fine inked up friends who are enduring the winter in the globe's northern extremities, take a look to the small, yet tourist-popular Caribbean island group of nations called The Bahamas. It is there that our next artist profile will focus attention on the fine work being done by John Edward Cox; a young artist and teacher making big waves duking out his multi-media work, and who is rapidly paving the way for a new generation of Bahamian artists.
John Edward Cox (b. 1973, Nassau, The Bahamas) has been able to build an artistic/cultural bridge between the outside world and the relatively isolated place of his birth. Cox has pushed himself to transcend the oh so predictable Caribbean tourist-driven art markets to produce artwork which speaks beyond the historically isolated imagery of his Bahamian colleagues. His work is reaching beyond those water-bound confines to address current art/cultural sensational trends which is seen in Europe with the work of Damien Hirst(although Cox's work is far superior), and the United states with Warholian relish for graphically-universal images.
Cox was born in The Bahamas at the same time it achieved Commonwealth status from Great Britain. In the early 1990s, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he soon discovered his passion for illustration, receiving his BFA in Illustration, then an MAT in Art Education. Cox returned to the Bahamas to teach at the Art Department of The College of the Bahamas, where he still works today. In addition, Cox has worked at The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas in their Education Department.
He opened Popop Studios in Nassau, a place that is both studio and gallery where he creates mixed media pieces and abstract furniture design. Popopstudios International Center For The Visual Arts is a prolific gallery and has an Artists in Residence program with 8-10 artists participating at any given time. For more information about their program, or to apply for a residency, go to
Cox has established himself as a distinguished printmaker, having exhibited and participated in several international exchanges in France, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, the United States and the Caribbean. His works focus on taking ideas already existing in the mass media and bringing attention to them in the same manner as Andy Warhol or England's Ryan McGinnis, although he doesn't make these images symbolic of a condition a global symbol. They are, for the most part, uplifting works to encourage and inspire his fellow man in the lifelong game of one's survival. Some of the boxer series have an affinity with ancient Aegean boxer frescoes found in Crete(another island nation who enjoyed their sports), but his images are rooted in graphic illustrations of boxing promotional posters as found in the 20th century.
Cox is known for producing large-scale works, incorporating multiple media and non-traditional printmaking techniques, to achieve his goals. There is a flat, patterned look of his printed work, at once making the mythic struggle of two men engrossed in battle something timeless, but it also sneaks a punch into a microcosm of the Bahamas' participation in the slave industry of the 17th-18th c. Cox presents an undertone to us, via an updated and popular sport, of an eternal search for dominance and one's struggle to survive. This print contender is set to go the distance, my friends. Be sure to grab a ticket to his next [art]bout.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas Gallery
Chasama Art Center, New York
Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami, for Art Basel
National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas
New Providence Community Centre Gallery, Nassau, Bahamas
Popop Studios/Gallery, Nassau, Bahamas
"Urban Life in the Caribbean" - Traveling Exhibition
Santa Domingo, Puerto Rico, Guyana & St. Kitts

MAT Rhode Island School Of Design, Providence, RI
BFA Rhode Island School Of Design, Providence, RI

Tel: 242.322.7834

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