Lavar Munroe Nassau, Bahamas, b. 1982

Munroe works with acrylic and mixed media on unstretched canvas, often incorporating objects and materials such as mousetraps, beads, ceramic tiles, textiles and feathers. His paintings are autobiographical and make diverse references to religion, death, fatherhood, protection, pandemics, belonging vs. exclusion and notions surrounding good and evil. 

 

The artist was born in the impoverished, stigmatised and often marginalised Grants Town community in Nassau, Bahamas. In 2004, he moved to the United States at the age of 21. Munroe's work functions as a reflection of the environment where he grew up, drawing from memory the crude graffiti on the walls that surrounded his street. He maps a personal journey of survival and trauma in a world of gang violence, drugs, murder, self-discovery, development and overcoming obstacles through self-determination. Though inspired by the past, his loud, energetic and unapologetic visual language confronts contemporary society and the strained and difficult relationships between authority and people of the ghetto.

 

Munroe works between Baltimore, USA and Nassau Bahamas. Recent exhibitions include shows at the Perez Art Museum Miami, National Gallery of Bahamas, Nassau, MAXXI Museum of Art, Rome, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, and the Meadows Museum of Art, Louisiana. Works have been included in previous exhibitions at ‘Prospect 4’ triennial, New Orleans, directed by Trevor Schoonmaker, ‘All the World’s Futures’, 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor, 12th Dakar biennale, curated by Simon Njami, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and SCAD Museum of Art among others.