Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jai Roon Reviews "Navigating the Bangkok Noir"

Chris Coles Paintings and Social Commentary.......
 By Jai Roon
Since writing pros James A. Newman and Jim Algie have both written extensive reviews on this book and both reviews are excellent, I'll keep mine brief.

I remember discovering the art of Chris Coles over 10 years ago. My first thought was: this guy seems interesting. Nobody is doing what he is doing. Dozens had written about the Bangkok Night before and dozens have written about it since but in the 21st Century, Chris Coles has been the indisputable leader in painting the darkness and the neon of Bangkok's notorious night paths.

But he does more than paint. He provides the quintessential social commentary needed with every colored frame. Chris Coles is to Bangkok Noir as Gary Trudeau was to Washington D.C. politics. The efficiency of what he gets across with the written word is classic story telling, usually with conflict involved, not often with catharsis.

Like many great artists, Chris Coles is misunderstood at times. There are some who see him as a proponent or cheerleader for the pay for play sex industry in Thailand. Not true. Chris has merely been making an extensive documentary in his art for over a decade.

The word prolific is overused but it is not overstated in his case. In NAVIGATING THE BANGKOK NOIR the very best of Chris Coles over 1,000 paintings have been selected.

Christopher G. Moore writes an excellent Forward to the book explaining the world of noir that Chris Coles captures so well.

I have no idea which authors will be remembered best in the 22nd Century for having written about the Bangkok night in the early 21st Century, if any at all. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the legacy of Chris Coles, the art of Chris Coles and the words of Chris Coles will linger well into the 22nd Century and beyond. His art, his documentary will be a reminder of a dark time. A time that once was and never will be, exactly, that way, again.

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