For Allan Wallace, art begins with open ears. The images that rain down on him, that work their way into his mind, that arrange themselves onto a canvas, have always come from a higher place.
A kid with a pencil in his hand, Wallace learned to listen early, when he did, pure magic emerged. Since becoming a full-time artist in 2004, Wallace has tagged the island with his singular designs. His murals have redefined the landscape from Bay Street to Claridge Road. His winged creatures and doe-eyed goddesses have turned walls into dreamscapes and his dancing figures have made parades of static street corners. He paints portraits, designs tattoos, and for a time, he taught art in school. Once a bartender and a hotel industry employee, Wallace wanted never again to make the mistake of making a living outside of his passion. “After a while you decide to put your faith in God, if you believe in God, and pretty much, the more you believe in Him, the more stupid it seems to not follow your passion,” said Wallace. “The worst thing you can do is stand in the way of something as awesome as God.” In
November Wallace opened his show “Birth of a Godhead” at New Providence Art and Antiques. And from it spilled the efforts of years of refinement. His first solo show in eight years, Wallace called the exhibition a point of self-actualization. Though the work featured in the show had all been created about a month or so before it opened, the paintings and the point of artistic evolution they represent were years in the making.
A self-taught artist, Wallace’s philosophy is centered on his faith in God. The award-winning artist said that he refuses to take credit for something that does not come from him. “My art is really me trying to get as in tune with God as possible,” he said. What he does take credit for, he said, is the opening of himself to what he feels God has put in him. Project after project continue to roll in for the busy artist. Wallace is the artistic coordinator for the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas’ Livable Neighborhoods mural project. He created the Bay Street mural for the Downtown Nassau Partnership and he continues to do commission work. Wallace has also joined forces with friends Ellery Deveaux of Devo Designs and Kwame Finlayson to collaborate on upcoming projects. “We want to end up being able to live off our passions,” he said.Published Profiles98 Magazine – Fashion Meets Culture Issue 2009 | by Thea Rutherford | photo by Donn Thompson