In the Amharic language of Ethiopia, MAKEDA means beauty.
MAKEDA is also the name professional dancer and visual artist Christina Clodomir has chosen for herself, as she dances to the rhythm of the universe and paints it in mind-blowing colors. With her acrylic on canvas, she wants to “open one’s mind to the universal consciousness” by prompting the viewer to travel within. According to Makeda, Art brings freedom; it enlightens the Nature within.
An Interior Design major, Makeda started painting seven years ago, after the birth of her son. Growing up in Haiti, she was surrounded by quality Haitian Art—paintings by Sejourné, Florestal, Brezil, Bonhomme, Jean Adrien Seide, Carel Blain, Richard Barbot, Phillipe Doddard, and many more. She later had the opportunity to meet some of these artists and learn a few tips from them. She doesn’t believe to have been influenced by anyone, however. “What comes out is purely me. […] It is important that one remain authentic to the forces within.” Artists are the revolution, she says. “We are the ones [who] bravely express ourselves, our essence—in the midst of all the pressure society can put on our creativity.”
“My creation is a result of paying close attention to the smallest perceivable elements in Nature, first and foremost that of Haiti, where I am from, and that of every other places life has taken and keeps taking me.” Makeda
The artist’s work will be on display at the Art Center, in the Art District Wynwood, in Miami, this Saturday, August 31st, from 10 am to 10 pm.
My interview with the artist follows:
MJ: What are your favorite pieces of work that you have done and why?
Makeda: This is such a tough question! These paintings are my babies; giving birth to each of them was a beautiful experience. However, I have Kept “Find me Taste me” in my private collection for many reasons: it is the piece that I spent the most time on; it is the biggest, the most elaborated, and it depicts my adventurous self very well.
MJ: Biggest success?
Makeda: I had been painting a portrait of Damian Marley with the intention of offering it to him. Well, [he unexpectedly showed] up for a hot meal at [my exhibit] in Guadeloupe, as I was on the balcony finishing the portrait. Long story short: it was a powerful day in my artistic career. [In fact,] my life is made of continuous blessings.
MJ: Biggest setback?
There are no setbacks that I have not conquered. […] Though being my own agent drains me, and is in fact an obvious challenge, I’m grateful that I can be strong and execute things with my own vision.
MJ: What would you say is the most important lesson you have learned in your life as an artist, and how do you apply it to your art?
Makeda: I learned to [embrace] spiritual stability [and] discipline. […] No mundane event or situation can disturb that peace of mind; this is from where I create, so this needs to be preserved beautifully. [I practice] yoga, meditation, or dancing before picking up my brush, and when on my canvas, I shut all mundane thought and focus on the “spiritual me” who receives and transmits every bit of Energy around me, by creating these pieces.
MJ: If you could go back in time and tell your old self one bit of advice concerning painting, what would you say and why?
Makeda: Trust your brush stroke, blow your vision to a noticeable scale, and impress the world. I used to paint on small scales, with small brushes, in order to better control my strokes; then I grew up to realize that controlling the stroke has nothing to do with dimension, for our minds have the capacity to control what we usually think is impossible.
Today, the universe of plants is Makeda’s comfort zone; it reflects who she is with vivid colors and precision surrounded by blur, as she plays with perspectives, lights, shades, and color tones. She says, “I work in several steps towards harmonizing all elements in my creation. This makes my finish smooth and homogenous. […] My art is a reflection of my personality: I am a creative visionary with strong determination, thus leaving my vision as fully and intensively, as possible.”
To learn more about Makeda, visit her website or her Facebook page. Her work is on display at Gallerie Marassa (Royal Oasis) in Petion-Villle, Haiti. If you’re in Florida, you can visit the Art Fusion Galleries, from October 1st to December 31st (Art Basel Season).
Remember: The artist will be exhibiting at the Art Center, in Miami, this Saturday, August 31st, from 10 am to 10 pm. The address: 149 NW 36 St, in the Art District Wynwood.