‘Elgo’ visual artist extraordinaire
“Painting from the womb” is the picture portrayed by MoBay-based artist Errol ‘Elgo’ Lewis, on his life’s journey as a skilled and leading visual artist over the decades.
The 63 year-old, who is dubbed the ‘Colour Master’ for the exuberant shades and blushes in his many artwork, is noted to be one of the best in the island, known for his exhibited pieces on both the local and international stages for the past four decades.
These include nations such as the USA, Europe, Africa, and of course in his home country, particularly Montego Bay where he, along with his wife Pat, are the owners of the 16-year -old Elgo’s Art Gallery, situated along Gloucester Avenue in the tourist hub.
“It was the cultural influences of the Europeans, that has shaped and molded my intention to do what I do in art,” said the Princess Street-born Elgo, whose paintings depicts his experiences in life.
Elgo boasts to have paintings predominantly in Jamaica and USA, Ghana and even West Africa, where he lived for a short period. Like in Jamaica, he had opened a few branches in the US but which are now closed, and even gotten the Key to the City of Tupelo in Mississippi, -a major accomplishment by a Jamaican.
The acclaimed painter is also said to be the first Jamaican to exhibit works for AT & T, among others. He did the Celebration of Hope exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, and was also behind the exhibition at the Civic Centre during the Queen’s visit in 2002.
Elgo’s experiences began after moving to England during his school years. He would often take visits to the Tate Gallery, where he would get access to paintings of famous painters and sculptors, such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh.
The inspired Elgo started a new hobby, and soon enough became a natural. At first he never took to the idea of marketing his paintings, as he would normally give them away. This however, changed when he was given a high priced offer, for one of his works which he originally refused to sell.
“So that got me saying, that I got that money in minutes and at the rate at which a doctor earns, it will never be as rapid as that. That gave me the confidence and ability to try it as a profession,” explained Elgo who had earlier acquired an Inchoate Law Degree.
Now an established artist, Elgo’s vision is set on helping aspiring painters. This idea has blossomed into that of the annual Artwalk Festival of Fine Arts. This year’s staging is set for March 8, 9 and 10 at Elgo’s Art Gallery in Montego Bay, and will feature more than 27 artists and their works.