NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Keith Thompson, a 23-year-old artist has sparked a spread of emotions on the subject of his paintings, but his present collection, entitled ‘FEAR’, hopes to show art lovers to the realities of police brutality, gang violence and the numerous issues faced by individuals living within the inner city.
“From a really early age, I used to be very focused on my academics but at the identical time I associated myself with individuals who were an element of gangs and who did drugs, and people people on the time meant so much to me. I needed to make the choice to step away from them,” Thompson said.
A few of Thompson’s photos have depicted black men who’ve been dealt a tough blow from the communities they’ve grown up in. And in line with Thompson, these blows could have included drugs, gang violence or matters related to how they’re treated by the police.
The young artist said he wants individuals viewing his art to know that their talents can remove them from their existing environment.
“I remember showing them [black men] my art work on the hood of my automobile, they usually couldn’t imagine it” Thompson recalls, adding that his pieces have grabbed an individual’s attention because the problems that he depicts in his paintings are relatively ‘unpopular’ as compared to the ‘usual’ Bahamian art.
The Bahamian artist said he has sold greater than 30 paintings throughout the last five years. He noted that while many Bahamian artists depict images of sun, sand and sea, his paintings are quite different.
Thompson said his paintings, that are firstly taken as stills, depict the misfortune of those that come from bad neighborhoods and are faced with more worst circumstances to beat.
One picture drawn by Thompson includes him sitting in back of a police automobile, while the police stares down the attention of the camera.
One other picture includes numerous individuals who’ve divided themselves with the gang colours of the Crips and Bloods, two widely known gangs in Los Angeles.
But since becoming heavily focused on his work, Thompson said he has found it easier to stay in isolation, disconnecting himself from all social distractions.
“I’m very introverted,” Thompson said.