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David Bade

David Bade (1970, Curaçao) makes drawings and absurd sculptures that he recycles from ‘worthless’ and building materials. He later assembles them to make tremendously expressive, room-filling installations which he scatters with short pieces of writing: personal anecdotes, caustic comments on current affairs, a humorous play on words, an ironic proverb and suchlike. In terms of form, he cites freely from banal contemporary culture, art history and the visual idiom of Curaçao, his native country, where influences from Western and African culture meet the tradition of the colourful Caribbean carnival and folk religion.

Besides a passionate artist with an international career, David Bade is an inspiring teacher in charge of the Instituto Buena Bista he co-founded, a socially-engaged director of artistic community projects and was critical TV presenter of an arts programme for the general public (ArtMen). He stands in the middle of this life and has a lot to say about it, a huge amount in fact. He does this in his own intrepid way, using images, words and action. But there is one thing that is at the heart of all the projects he undertakes: interaction.

Instituto Buena Bista

The artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha, together with art historian Nancy Hoffmann, founded the Instituto Buena Bista (IBB) on Curaçao in 2006. The founders of IBB want to provide a platform for contemporary art that simultaneously stimulates awareness and enrichment of the indigenous cultural heritage while introducing to the island new cultural developments from around the world.

The Institute’s core activities consist of organising a visual arts orientation course for talented Curaçaoan youngsters between the ages of 15 and 25, and assigning them to a professional overseas follow-up course in the fine or applied arts. The IBB ensures that the students receive close supervision overseas, but also motivates them to return to Curaçao afterwards. After all, the Institute believes that creative talent and an academic background are necessary to break with the colonial past of the island and build a new society.