Magic, inspired by mayhem

There it is, in resplendent colour and rich designs, but you have to look deeper to find the entire message. 

“There’s stuff going on in the world and I want to speak about it, but show the problem and the solution,” says Randy, always soft-spoken and most often smiling. 

“To me, unconditional love is the solution…just because we’re alive, love because we exist. 

“When I do a painting, the problem is there, but so is the cure. I don’t like to just show the problem.” 

Randy is influenced not only by world events, but by his love of history, as well as his passion for art. He is a full-time, home-grown artist who has been drawing and sketching all his life.  

His talent, well, “It’s just there, like the air we breathe.” He can’t explain it, he can only translate it into beauty on canvas, these days in oil. “It’s rich and it’s thick and it gives the painting texture. 

“I just find that I can express myself really well in oil,” he says. 

Take the paintings of his now on display in the Summer Blossoms exhibit at the Gallery at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. 

The large canvases are ablaze in colour, rich in meaning and full of patterns. 

“It’s kind of like stained glass,” the artist says, adding that the works evolved over a long process, initially influenced by his fascination with the work of American abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. 

“I started out splashing the paint, but I found I really love the shape; one shape turned into two shapes, turned into three shapes…A lot of people say it looks like cubism, but I think it’s a lot different.” 

Randy’s shapes are rounded and go from there. “I like twists and turns, ins and outs, ups and downs…it’s freedom, really.” 

He paints some images inside all of that, too. 

So while there’s a maelstrom of world events (and solutions) to incorporate, there’s also an overriding theme of peace, love and harmony. 

“Even though we have a lot of disharmony in the world, we have a lot of harmony, too. I don’t just focus on the negative – but even though we address the negative, we can focus on the positive, everything that is beautiful that we love about our families, that we’re alive, that we’re able to be here… 

“A lot of the paintings I do have beautiful things in them, too, like relationships, because every day is a new page and something new.” 

Speaking of family, sometimes Randy collaborates on a piece with his wife, artist Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette.  

“Most of the time we just discuss ideas, what we’re thinking about, what we’re inspired by. 

“We understand how each other does things.” 

Hand-in-hand with Randy’s artistic talent goes his talent for percussion. He plays congas with featured DJs as part of Eden Hurlston’s OneWorld productions.  

Playing with a DJ requires a special talent – there’s no rehearsal or practicing, as with a band. It’s more or less hearing and feeling your way, and that’s a good fit for Randy. 

“I improvise…that’s an art, too.” 

Wentus Lan by Randy Chollette

Wentus Lan by Randy Chollette. PHOTO: SUBMITTED