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Art of true worth

June 4, 2013

Dear Sir,

Jacqueline Alma’s work is, as mentioned in Charles Zuill’s review in

The Royal Gazette article June 3, some of the most accomplished ever to be exhibited in Bermuda.

Jacqueline Alma’s work is full of awe, respect, love and admiration. I always pay attention when a "white person" depicts a "person of colour". Especially if they are from South Africa. Jacqueline’s work shows great admiration and respect for other cultures. No surprise, she is an artist and most accomplished.

I encourage all to go see her work as often as you can, it's impressive in many ways. You will see, subjectively speaking, a degree of accountability, a sense of forgiveness of love, appreciation, and beauty. I love this work especially by this artist.

I can see my issues in it. Like, did all white South Africans hate blacks? Clearly not.

Which brings me to my vexing issue. All proceeds go to the Bermuda Sloop Foundation. Good cause! Great cause, and worthy. However, it comes at the expense of great art. Art then becomes the unworthy agent for charity, the rationalisation for altruism.

I'm not sure if the collectors are proud of their purchase or proud of their charity at the expense of great art, now devalued, free. I intend to believe the latter. Thus devaluing all art.

Most, I'm almost positive, believe that art is not a means to economic survival; but the means to the ends of others. Everyone believes artists should feel a sense of pride and community, we are expected to give away our labour. Artists should self-emulate to join the ranks of the altruist, the humble who gives away their work. Not to take pride in creating or showing-off their individuality.

This is troublesome. At this rate the only people who will do art are the ones who can afford to do art and could afford to give it away. At which point art becomes decoration for elites, social anecdotes for political campaigns, a voice silenced, a decoration for your frames.



South African-Dutch artist Jacqueline Alma surrounded by some of her oil paintings and drawings. Her solo exhibit ‘The Red Thread’ at Masterworks concludes today.

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Published June 05, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 05, 2013 at 9:47 am)

Art of true worth

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