– Young Guyanese artist Roberto Teekah
By Trishan Craig
“My aim is to leave an indelible imprint on the art world and society at large.” These are the words of a very talented young Guyanese artist.
Roberto Teekah’s talent was on display at the recent career day fair organised by the Guyana Police Force.
The 20-year-old from Herstelling, East Bank Demerara (EBD) had stories to share about his paintings and about himself.
Like most children, Teekah had a love for drawing. “I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a child but my art blossomed when I started attending the Bishops’ High School.”
“The school offered many opportunities in the arts and they viewed the visual arts as a serious venture, not just as a leisure activity as most schools do.”
The younger artist soon found out that he had a deep love for painting and as such he could not find a way to stop. “If I didn’t paint I would probably go insane. There’s an urge or desire inside of me to create.
“My art is my means of expression. It’s where I release stored up tension and angst. It’s where I express what I’m thinking and feeling at the time. In my art I have complete freedom and the power to add and take away whatever I want to.”
He spoke of his 2019 painting, ‘Emergence’, which is a painting of a woman shedding her skin. Below the skin of the woman is a new flesh of a snake. Teekah used the idea of a snake to show the context of the title.
“I used the idea of a snake to bring out my thoughts on the painting, which is like the animal that sheds its skin to put out new growth, the woman is coming out of her comfort to show what she truly has within.”
Of late, he has used women to portray his ideas on canvas. “Recently my paintings have been about strong female figures both from history and my imagination.”
“My inspiration comes from all over the place… ranging from the extravagant to the most mundane things.”
He stated that, “Things like folklore and religion, periods in history like the rococo, flora and fauna; pop culture, also avant-garde fashion…even things like an accidental arrangement of objects, a clever play on words, or the shapes created by shadows on a wall serves as inspiration.
In receiving feedbacks about his paintings, although the young painter feels a sense of satisfaction for his hard work, he also has a desire for persons to understand the story behind the art in the simplest way.
“When persons are attracted to my paintings they’re usually also curious to know what my thought process behind it was.” Teekah indicated.
He further mentioned that, “My paintings usually have a lot of thought put into them and I feel like it’s equally important for the viewer to understand and appreciate that message just as much as they appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the painting.”
“However, there’s also room for their interpretation and opinions on what the painting is about and these may be completely different from what I was trying to convey but that’s no problem.”
Outside of being a full time student at the E.R. Burrowes School of Art, Teekah works on commission to put out his skills.
“I have a good intake of work my social media on my Instagram page @rio_de_roberto and my
Facebook account Roberto Teekah, where I paint for persons.”
Despite his time behind a canvas Teekah has started his path to receiving awards for his great work. “I was a student of the Bishops’ High and I was the first student to write the CAPE Art and Design subject. I attained a Grade 1 with Distinction.”
“Apart from that I was a prize winner at the Guyana Coconut Festival Painting competition in 2016. I worked on a display at the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition (GVACE) in 2017.”
Moreover, he also worked on the first ‘Filling the Void’ exhibition and the first ‘Seeing is believing’ exhibition both in 2018. The previous year, he was part of a prize winning team at the Secondary School’s Mashramani Float Completion in 2017.
The young inspirational artist aims to leave an indelible imprint on the art world and society at large as he progresses in his work.
“After I get my diploma at the E.R. Burrowes School of Art, I’ll be pursuing my degree in Fine Arts either at UG or , if I get the opportunity, at a University abroad. I hope that within my lifetime, my art will have left an indelible imprint in the art world and our society at large.”
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