Augustin HolderOpposite Sides

St. Thomas native Augustin Holder presents Opposite Sides which was his challenge to paint using a duplicity of style, which is reflective of two points of view. This collection is cognitive of his own personal journey and documents the chronology of his life and expression of humanity. “At the end of the day, I want viewers to engage and reflect on their own personal journey of enlightenment.”

Augustin Holder is not a stranger to the art landscape of the Virgin Islands. He believes that there is an Art Renaissance happening and he sees it as an economic driver in developing communities. His first solo show was at VICA in 2010 and he has shown his work throughout the Virgin Islands for the past 14 years. Holder has recently shown his latest collection at Cane Roots Art Gallery in Christiansted, St. Croix in November 2023.

Holder spent his adult life in New York. He participated in group shows in a Brooklyn neighborhood where “Black is Beautiful” was spoken loud and clear. “We did a lot of community-based events to build our community… on the heels of Spike Lee and Lauryn Hill…in the early 90s,” he said. The Holder family [actor/dancer/musician Geoffrey Holder and painter/dancer Boscoe Holder] has been prominent in the history of art, and [Augustin] Holder ‘makes no bones’ about “claiming that fame…I’m following that footprint.”

“My style is constant: bold strokes, layered colors, distorted shapes and lines dominate the ethos of my expression. In this collection, I introduced a new color palette, which makes it an intriguing assemblage of my artistic expression.”

Holder is staying close to his interpretation as to what Caribbean art is because he feels that the Caribbean is diverse with so many elements…divided yet connected by water with cultural legacies and cultural heritages that embody frames of reference. He interprets his art differently from other artists, as he compliments and draws attention to Lucien Downes, El’Roy Simmonds, and John Jones. “These strong artists have a signature that talks about heritage, culture, and the Black experience – the Caribbean experience.”

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