Blue Curry's Nassau From Above
by Natascha Vazquez
"Stylized and flat imagery of highlighted “Bahamian icons” permeate the work, including The Atlantis Hotel. It is awkwardly placed within the setting, as if cut out and stuck clumsily on the surface without consideration of unifying the composition. The distortion of this “cut-out” is suggestive of propaganda – a vehicle for spreading biased or misleading information, usually to promote a political cause or point of view. It’s almost as if the artist has found advertisements, cut around them to salvage the imagery, and pasted them inelegantly into this birds-eye-view of Nassau. It is suggestive of the artist intentionally covering segments of reality with icons that promote a paradise – something that we strive to present to visitors of this country.
The alteration of the Atlantis structure is also suggestive of a Roman Cathedral, an architectural icon that serves as a spiritual center– a place where God dwells. This poses a fascinating indication of Atlantis and its role in the Bahamas. Do we identify the tourism industry in The Bahamas in similar ways to the act of worship? If we place so much importance and dependence on foreign support, how can we define ourselves?
So, what is real Nassau? It may appear to have pure, white beaches and a see-through ocean – it may shine under a vibrant sun – it may present underwater dreamlands of a hidden Atlantis or a smooth sail by through the wind on a boat, but what about the close-up details? What about the people and the crime and the struggles and the pollution and the corruption? Things that cannot be seen from an ascending airplane but rather by a truly Bahamian individual, who lives, breaths and dies a citizen, who drives the streets and eats the food and knows the people – who can feel the chaos and who struggles when the country does. This work seems to be a friendly reminder of who we must prioritize and conserve – our culture over any - our beliefs and stories and art, and our people. Our visitors will inevitably flourish from a prideful nation, but only when we discover ourselves will we be able to share a deeply Bahamian culture."