This artist is able to capture the essence of the Caribbean in his paintings. Vibrant is one word that is used to describe his work. Great depth and intricate detail are others.
Born in Oxford, England of an American family, Karl, surprisingly, is self taught, painting from an early age. Perhaps that is part of the answer as to why the great response to his paintings.
Recently a drawing of one of his paintings appeared on a dining guide, and Karl has had a number of shows in Miami and exhibitions in Nevis, St. Kitts and Tortola.
Karl's work has become quite collectible.
The puzzle remains as to why the response to these paintings. But it is the same response we have to the Caribbean portrayed in this work. Karl's desire is to chronicle the culture of the Caribbean.
Visitors look for local food or views, searching for that quintessential expression of this sunny, tropical land. Such as the quirky street up to and past the Roti Palace, right around the corner from Sunny Caribbee, with owner Jean's great cooking, the "palace" being found in the delicious flavor of her rotis.
Perhaps being self taught is the same as the Caribbean folkway of happenstance. As incident is piled upon circumstance, we can say that they made it up as they went along, rather than to some regime or code.
The result is the culture of the Caribbean--often fortuitous, sometimes unfortunate, at times spectacular, but almost always interesting.
With his innovative use of Acrylics and his extensive travels in the Antilles, Karl Merklein has indeed captured a little of the islands in his paintings.