Andrae Green (b. 1978) is a painter whose work explores the nuances of the collective consciousness that has been shaped by time, mythology and memory. Green was born in Kingston, Jamaica where he attended the Edna Manley School for the Visual and Performing Arts. Soon after in 2006, Green was awarded a full scholarship grant sponsored by the Jamaican government and the Chase Fund to obtain his MFA in Painting at the New York Academy of Art. In 2011, he was awarded a residency at the CAC Troy, New York. Andrae Green’s paintings have been shown internationally in the US, Jamaica, Canada, China, and France. In 2012 he was one of the first two artists chosen to represent Jamaica in the Beijing Biennale. In 2013, Green was selected as a part of the American delegation that represented the US at the Salon de Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, France. In 2019 he was an artist in residence at Experience Jamaique in Geneva Switzerland. Green’s paintings are included in many private collections around the world. In 2017 his piece “Acquiescence I” was acquired by the National Museum of China. He currently lives and works in Western Massachusetts.
I am a Jamaican living in the US. But what does it mean to be Jamaican? For me, this means that I am a hybrid. Partly old and fully new. I could never have existed as I am without being in the New World. My identity is a hybridization of both European and West African cultures. A little of Europe a little of African and a lot in between. Cuban writer and scholar Antonio Benitez Rojo said it best when he said, “Caribbeanness is a system full of noise and opacity, a nonlinear and unpredictable system. In short a chaotic system beyond the total reach of any specific kind of knowledge or interpretation of the world.” It is this chaotic order that feeds into the vitality of Jamaican or Caribbean life and makes it potent and gives it its otherness.
With the act of painting, I can merge these diverging worlds unto the canvas and give order to their chaos. I drag, push and pull the brush along the surface of the painting almost as if I am in an active trance. The figures on my canvas come to life but not as how you expect. On my canvas figures dance, struggle, and play while being connected and disconnected from themselves. These figures speak about the current age that I live in. A world where representation and reality can be interchanged and physicality can be fleeting. History, identity, and fantasy can be reinvented. My creations carry the same disjointed collaged patchwork that forms my identity, my hybridization. The figures and narratives involved speak of the slippages that occur when the self and the space that it occupies are fractured and then put back together.