Sunday, July 20, 2008

Soul Beach Festival Aruba 2008

Usually I prefer to tell the story of places and people I experience only with my photos, however, this time I need to use words to describe how powerful the voice of an artist can be. Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Curacao's sister island Aruba and attend the Soul Beach Festival, and I want to share some of that experience.

During the festival I attended the event press conference, which felt more like a family gathering rather than an official event. Sinbad, a well recognized actor and comedian from USA, who was also at the press conference, was more than happy to mingle with everybody taking pictures. He seemed completely at home, introducing his family as though he was at a barbeque in his backyard. The impression I got from him was that this man really feels at home in Aruba. He keeps going back there over and over.

Wyclef Jean also seemed to feel the same way, appearing at the press conference with his deep and meaningful message instead of an unnecessary entourage.

Born in Haiti, he spoke openly about his strength and sense of pride that is part of his heritage, using his voice and charisma to spread the message and shape a better future for his homeland. His Yele Foundation helps to make a difference in education, health and community development in Haiti through various projects, from donating computers for schools to donating five chickens that can provide food for a family in need.

According to Wyclef Jean, "Haitians are not for a gift or straight aid, but for a loan or an education or an opportunity". This is the message the Yele Foundation represents, and through their efforts they strive to provide their country with a good start.

Wyclef's Caribbean spirit embraced the audience during his performance on Saturday night.

He appeared on the stage wearing a carnival mask, and it didn't take long before the crowd was singing songs in his native language, filled with the spirit of the festival and spreading the Caribbean fever.

Before long Wyclef disappeared from the stage and sank into crowd.

He knew just who to invite on stage to join him, singer Ledisi. Her vocals exploded over the crowd like nothing you have ever heard before, from jazz divas like Anita Becker to Janice Joplin, Ledisi pushes her voice to the very last breath in her lungs.

Yes ....Erykah Badu....was a reason why I came to Aruba.
...HER VOICE ....ENERGY ...There is no words to describe it .

This woman is so unique with her voice and style ....

I play her music in my my studio...

she is inspiration ...her music is such a part of my creative process..

during listening to her music ..I made one of my favorite pieces of the rings ....I called her name and I knew one day I am going to give it to her

I am happy that we had a chance to meet ..she likes this pieces is part of her life her music is part of mine.

My painting of the Ring II

Friday, July 18, 2008


I recently spent a weekend on Curacao's sister island of Bonaire, where I went in search of new inspiration.

At the time I was trying to create a new advertisement for my gallery, and while I have taken endless photographs capturing the many different sides of Curacao, I found myself longing to discover a fresh perspective that I could embrace and add to my artwork.

Two days and over a thousand pictures later, I had found the new energy I was searching for. The richness and unique beauty of Bonaire's landscape brought back to me all the reasons why I love to travel to new places and go exploring--it reminded me why this is my one addiction, the one thing that makes me feel completely free.

Sometimes I wish that I could just take off and travel more often. Even though I am dedicated to my work here in Curacao, I have a constant longing to stimulate my brain with new images and ideas that I can channel into creative inspiration.

Salt Pans
One of the most unique and amazing sites I photographed on Bonaire were the salt pans--a vast plain of salt mountains that have accumulated from the sea on the south shore of the island. I was completely in awe of the crystal white mounds. I was able to photograph the mountains at different times throughout the day, capturing the various ways in which the light played with them and transformed their beauty.

Shell Mountains
Another hidden treasure I discovered during my trip were these shell mountains located on a little beach off the beaten path. Sometimes you have to get lost to truly find what you are looking for.


I also visited the caves of Bonaire and was inspired by the primitive paintings created so long ago by the Indian inhabitants of the island. This was really the kind of experience that is only made possible by having someone by your side who knows the secrets of such a place. Luckily for me, I had the help of a polish priest and friend who is living on the island. He was a great guide, prepared for anything, and completely ready and willing to go along with my adventures. He helped with everything from assisting with lighting for my pictures to providing a truck that allowed us to leave behind the normal path and go where no little car could ever go.

It is truly great to find friends who are not afraid to get dirty and who also have the patience to help me embrace my vision, even if it means holding a light at a certain angle while I take hundreds of pictures.