Jamaican visual artist, Taj Francis, was born in 1989 in the parish of St. Andrew. As a graduate of the Edna Manley College of Visual Arts, he is currently an independent visual artist with a diverse interest of expression mainly focused through illustration. The works he produces draw influence from a combination of Jamaican Reggae aesthetics, Japanese Manga, Vinyl and Poster Art, Baroque Paintings and Pop Art aesthetics. His work continues to evolve and grabs from different influences and genres of art. This is expressed in the exploration of cultural dualities, internalised human issues, and youth and African identity which are subject matters that will often be seen in his body of work.
Overfishing and shark conservation
Artist statement: “The overfishing of sharks for their fins is a global epidemic, and this is no different in the Caribbean. Shark fins are such a sought-after commodity, that it has resulted in the deaths of over 100 million sharks per year worldwide. .
Unfortunately, due to negative media portrayal, many of us have very little sympathy for sharks. But I believe we can change that. .
Through art, we can depict them as an important part of our oceans, in keeping the balance and cycle of the ecosystem. .
For @seawalls_ on St. Croix, USVI, I chose to depict the sharks being protected by and protecting the embodiment of the ocean in West African and Caribbean lore, the goddess of the seas, Yemaya | Yemoja. .
It is my hope that this imagery will have a strong impact on those local to the area, and with anyone who sees it otherwise. Hopefully, we can all become more aware of their endangerment and respect their place in our oceans.” – Taj Francis .