Deconstructing "The Arrival"
by Natascha Vazquez
Lavar Munroe. "Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", 2011, digital rendering, 34 x 25" (5), 34 x 10" (1). Courtesy of the Dawn Davies Collection
"Munroe uses his own visual language to depict the brutality of Columbus’ arrival into the islands. He dismisses the glorification of Columbus, and shows the horrific exploitation of enslaved natives of The Bahamas as well as Africans imported to the newly discovered land. In this piece, Columbus is the embodiment of the Devil. The subjugated native figures represent overturned humanity. Munroe uses bizarre imagery to depict the violent and destructive nature of uninvited change. Munroe strives to make the viewer re-think the admiration of Christopher Columbus and promote people’s desire to ward off any future threats of genocide and or “discovery.”