Manhasset Displays New Mind-Bending Art

Natalie Wells

Manhasset Secondary School opened the doors to their art gallery this week to present their first exhibit: “Anthropomorphic Alternative Reality” by David G. Wilson. The West Indies-born artist draws inspiration from the European “old masters,” African-American history, and the pursuit of portraying the fourth dimension on canvases.

The gallery boasts several paintings of Wilson’s, including a rendition of the Mona Lisa with his own personal spin on the famous piece. Titled “Les Mysteres Jocondais au Code de Vinci,” Wilson sought to express various hidden patterns and symbols he observed in da Vinci’s original painting.

“I try to relate everything to Leonardo,” said Wilson. 

In this version — the fifth out of nine Wilson-interpreted Mona Lisas — he portrays a Tuscan landscape and her right hand as a bunch of bananas. According to Wilson, the bananas represent his father: “the hand that fed me.” This is just one example of his emphasis on translating what he sees in paintings to his personal experiences.

Another one of his paintings, “Pecheur Gwantanse,” portrays an evening in his birthplace of Dominica, West Indies. The vivid scene and the colors on the canvas are those that he remembers from his childhood. The eyes and mouth are fishermen in their canoes, and the nose is a sloop that would transport agricultural products in and out of the capital of Portsmouth. 

Wilson also sees African-American history as a major catalyst for several of his pieces. The death of George Floyd in May inspired his painting “Chatell Equation” in which he portrays the face of a black man with “chattel objects,” or those that were commonly sold and traded in the age of slavery. The reflection of light on the cheeks (vases) of the man represents Christianity’s “use as a weapon to placate African people.”

With COVID-19 preventing large gatherings, viewing of the gallery is available by appointment. Wilson’s exhibit will be available from October 19th to November 20th.

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