Don Man

Paintings hanging at a downtown Kingston art show. (1992)

These are some paintings were part of an art show held in downtown Kingston. The show featured several local artist and took place in an abandoned building. The purpose of the show was to bring attention to the blighted areas downtown in hope of generating interest in the re-development. In attendance at the show were members of the arts community, members of Parliament and several reggae performers. Dub poet Oku Onuora opened the show by reading some of his poetry.

I’m sorry but I can’t recall the name of the artist who did these paintings. The work on the right is titled “Maximum Security”, it features two guards who look away as a prisoner (presumably Jim Brown) burns to death in his cell. The center painting is of a pushcart man navigating the winding road. The last painting on the right was called “Don Man”, referring again to the Dons of downtown Kingston. The paintings were also pretty large measuring about 5 ft. tall.

This was a unique event for downtown Kingston which was having huge problem with crime at the time. As a matter of fact I was leaving in the car with some friends when a youth, about ten years old, reached in through the window and tried to snatch the chain from around my neck. The police there saw this and had me get in the car and tried to chase down the kid. This was a crazy experience, speeding down the narrow downtown streets, the wrong way, with sirens blaring, it was pretty wild for sure. We never did find the kid but he never got the chain either, it just broke. After about a twenty minutes the police dropped me back where my friends were waiting then it was off for some cold Red Stripes.

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