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Marlon Griffith | Trinidad & Tobago

Born in 1976 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago,
Lives and works in Nagoya, Japan, since 2009
Photography, performance

Marlon Griffith started his artistic practice as a Carnival designer—a “mas’ man,” as Trinidadians would call him.

This background deeply shapes his work as a contemporary visual artist, which has performative, participatory, and ephemeral characteristics that derive from Carnival. Griffith’s work is based upon a reciprocal dialogue between ‘Mas’ (the artistic component of the Trinidad Carnival) and art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience: it is situated at the intersection of the visual and public performance.

Experimenting with fundamental questions in perception, Griffith’s work interrogates contemporary culture outside the traditional pitfalls of representation. Operating outside the context of Mas’ Griffith performative actions are stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new images and narratives that respond critically and poetically to our socio-cultural environment.

Graduated from the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute of Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

In 2010, he is fellow of the John Guggenheim Foundation.

Marlon Griffith was artist in residences in several places : Art OMI in Ghent, USA (2011) ; Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas – thanks to a travelling grant from the Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies (2010-2011) ; Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica (2007) ; Mino Paper Art Village in Japan (2005) and Bag Factory / Fordsburg Artists Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa (2004).

Individual exhibitions by Marlon Griffith

Phantoms at N Mark + transit gallery in Nagoya, Japan (2013) and The Ballad of Francisco Bobadilla in Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (2012).

Collective exhibitions

Cosmopolitan Stranger at the Hotel de Inmigrantes 2 in Hasselt, Belgium (2012) ; Into the Mix at the KMAC, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, in Louisville, USA (2012) ; Focus on the the Global Caribbean Landscape at the Fondation Clément in Martinique (2012), at the Little Haïti Cultural Center in Miami (2011), at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (2010) and in France, in Sète at the MIAM – Musée International des Arts Modestes (2009) ; Stuffed Swan at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas (2011) ; Black Gossamer at the Glass Curtain Gallery of Columbia College in Chicago, USA (2011) ; Act 5 in Alice Yard, Trinidad & Tobago (2011) ; a presentation  at the Krannert Art Museum of Champaign, USA (2011) ; Rockstone and Bootheel at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut, USA (2009) ; South-South: Interruptions & Encounters at the Justina M Barnicke Gallery of Toronto, Canada (2009) ; the installation project La Fantasie with Jaime Lee Loy and Nikolai Noel (2008) ; a participation to the Galvanize project in Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (2006).


In 2013,  he is invited to the 3d edition of the AICHI Triennale in Japan. Marlon Griffith also participated in the 7th Biennial of Gwanju, China (2008) and in CAPE09, the biennial of Cape Town (2009).

Artworks by the artist

Marlon Griffith | Runaway Reaction

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Marlon Griffith | Stuffed Swan

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