Christopher Bateman and Al Fingers
In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious
Books of the Year 2016 No: 15
In the early 1980s Jamaican popular music underwent a paradigm shift with the emergence of a new style: Dancehall. Conventional reggae songwriting and production techniques were traded in for light-hearted boasting over digital 'riddims', with humour and 'slackness' the order of the day. A quiet and observant newspaper cartoonist named Wilfred Limonious (1949-99) became the primary visual architect for this new genre, designing countless album jackets and record-label logos. With colourful comic-book characters, scribbled commentary and outrageous Patois-filled speech bubbles, the world he created was the perfect visual counterpart to the island's emerging dancehall scene. In Fine Style is Wilfred Limonious' first retrospective, including alongside his music work his illustrations for the publications of JAMAL (the Jamaican Movement for the Advancement of Literacy) and his comic strips for the national newspapers.