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May 22, 1998

The Dominican Republic's Tony Capellán is the featured artist in "Histories of the Caribbean," a 24 piece exhibition of paintings that opened at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington Thursday evening.

The exhibition was declared open by the OAS secretary general, César Gaviria, whose praise for Capellán's artistic genius focussed on how the artist "perceives and portrays the rich multi-racial diversity of the Caribbean universe." A great deal of Capellán's work depicts this soul "enclosed in shorelines"as well as humans belonging to a region where the world is not a constant whole, but rather, he said, "a geography of fragments."

The pieces on display are actually composites of smaller paintings each conveying different histories which are connected by symbolism rooted in Caribbean culture and influences derived from other worlds.

Tony Capellán has been widely exhibited around the Americas and in Europe. His works are featured at exhibitions in the Dominican Republic and abroad, including at the [OAS] Art Museum of the Americas in Washington.

According to Dr. Flavio Darío Espinal, the Dominican Republic's permanent representative at the OAS, "the works on exhibition depict the theme of intermixing--a confluence of cultural icons from other traditions. The artist uses them to suggest that we naturally embrace our cultural differences to live out our potentials as a Caribbean nation."

Espinal regarded Capellán as more than a promise but a reality as well. "He is a promise because, as a young man, he has a universe, a world of possibilities as regards how to do his work. He is a reality because what he has so far achieved--the strength and the quality of his work--accords him pride of place as a painter and as an artist in general, in the Dominican Republic."

"Histories of the Caribbean" is on exhibition until June 19.

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