Gene Pearson’s influence on the making of ceramics in Jamaica is staggering. His stylised ceramic heads have become his trademark and their haunting profiles have influenced many potters and painters locally and abroad. Trained at the Jamaica School of Art his work shows the stylistic influence of peers such as Christopher Gonzales and conceptual links to pioneers such as Osmond Watson.
Very early in his career, Gene Pearson began working with forms that were a stylistic blend of African Baule masks, Egyptian sculpture and his own Jamaican sensibility with all its references to ‘roots’ culture and Rastafari. The result was a form of sculpture/ceramic object that referenced classical forms of proportion, portrayed the African physiognomy with refined dignity and evoked a sense mythical African ancestry. The eclectic and synthesised nature of his work seemed perfectly suited to the needs of his Jamaican viewers who saw in his ceramic forms a reflection of their multi cultural heritage. Now Gene Pearson’s work is just as popular abroad and he divides his time between working at his home in Red Hills and exhibiting in California.
His works have been presented to various foriegn dignataries, heads of states and celebrities including Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union, Phan Van Dong of Vietnam. They can also be seen on film sets such as “Trapper MD”, and in the private collections of Stevie Wonder, Diahann Carrol and Madge Sinclair.PA-S