An image that is currently being circulated online of dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel being depicted as a god has sparked outrage and mix reactions from viewers on social media.
The painting shows a fully tattooed, light-skinned Kartel sitting high on a throne made of gold in the clouds. In the image, he is seen holding a staff in his right hand and contorting his fingers to the ’empire’ sign on the other.
Kartel can also be seen in the painting dressed in a pink toga, purple cap with the letter ‘W’ and matching Clarks, while having his chin caressed by a topless woman on bended knees staring adoringly at him as he looks on.
But unlike the doting woman in the painting, some viewers were not amused while others stated that it was a ploy by the artiste to remain relevant during his incarceration.
“That photo is just so wrong in so many ways!” a Facebook viewer commented.
Another stated, “And he draws out people yet again, when unuh gonna learn seh him do this just for the attention! Smart man!”
The painting’s creator has also come under scrutiny by viewers, with many accusing him of idolising the artiste.
But the New Jersey-based artist with Jamaican roots, 27-year-old Kavion Robinson, told THE STAR that the painting, which was done two years ago, is not about him worshipping Kartel, but instead about the artiste’s ego.
“The painting is about his ego and the image he was portraying to the world,” he said.
When asked what was the inspiration behind the picture, Robinson told THE STAR, “The inspiration was how the media portrayed Kartel at the time.”
He also told THE STAR, “The painting is a recreation of ‘Ingres’s – Jupiter and Thetis’. It illustrates Jamaica’s media portrayal of Vybz Kartel as a larger than life figure in dancehall. They placed him on that throne and dancehall society at his feet and blamed him for the behaviour of youths.”
Robinson also sought to dismiss claims that the painting was published by Kartel or members of his camp as a ploy to stir up controversy to keep the artiste relevant during his incarceration.
“Kartel has nothing to do with the picture, this was created before he was imprisoned, he knows nothing about the painting and has probably never seen it.”
For the original report go to http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20131205/ent/ent1.html