D IS FOR DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Jaime Colson is not as well known as an artist of his caliber and range should be. He left his native city of Santo Domingo at the age of 17 and had lived all across the world, from Cuba to Paris, before returning home in middle age. He was friends with all the latino greats—Orozco, Diego Rivera, Siqueiros—and he practiced all the styles that had traction in the 20th century. You can find the whole scope of the century’s modernism reflected in his array of canvas.
I chose the painting because it’s reflective of the 1950s, the cultural renaissance of the latin countries, with ethnic cultural practices accordingly flaunted. At the same time, it’s also pretty space-less and timeless: I can see the pictured figures not just women dressed up for a fiesta in the Guachupita neighborhood of Santo Dominga. I also see Harlem renaissance beauties in the 1920s, drag queens in the West Village in the 1970s, or a bunch of hipsters headed to a Sia concert in the 2010s. Now that’s the power of art, and of abstraction.