What hurts me the most when representatives of our popular culture die is that I feel that with their departure, we lose a bit of our culture and traditions.
With Nadal, one of the great representatives of the cocolo culture leaves. The one that through his paintings showed us the guloyas, the cane fields, San Pedro de Macorís, and the bateyes.
This artist was a descendant of «the Afro-descendant immigrants from the English Antilles, who worked as technicians and workers in the sugar mills, and who brought the dance of the guyolas to the Dominican Republic.»
More about its history
According to a publication by the writer Fernando Casanova:
Nadal Jonas Walcot was born in 1945 at the Consuelo de San Pedro de Macorís sugar mill. He was imprisoned and exiled for his ideas and political actions, when thinking about politics and, above all, doing politics against the system was so dangerous that you could die or hopefully be exiled as was his case, to Mexico, the United States and Europe, where lived for 7 years.
It was his uncles who transmitted his interest in art. They made toys out of wood, tin, or any other material. It was the time when children enjoyed real toys, which in this case were handmade by artisans. Walcot drew these toys and this activity gradually created the skill of drawing, of the transmutation of the object into a two-dimensional expression on paper.
In 1972, already in the Netherlands as an exile, Walcot discovered the work of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher in the museums of Amsterdam, and with him the geometric paradoxes, the naive projection of perspective that makes Walcot’s trains run without tracks. He tells us that it was like a kind of revelation about what he wanted to make of his life; dedicate himself to art, drawing in particular.
Nadal Walcot was «recognized for his naive style paintings, with which he portrayed the cocolo culture, its dances, and manifestations of popular religiosity.» Peace to his remains and thanks for everything!