Cazabon is often described as ‘Trinidad’s nineteenth-century artist,’ an expression that suggests he was one of a kind. He’s considered a pioneer, and indeed in some respects he was. Even more importantly, we think of Cazabon as one of us. He was a Trinidadian, of mixed race, and his work evokes pride and nostalgia and a sense of pleasing familiarity.
Considering the special place Cazabon has in the hearts of many Trinidadians, I was honoured when, in early 2019, I received an email from art dealer/gallery owner, Mark Pereira, inviting me to design a new book on Cazabon’s work. Unlike other books, this publication would examine Cazabon’s paintings alongside several of his contemporaries, while offering critical, new perspectives. I started the design by committing to Freight (and Freight alone!), using various members of the Freight type collection. The book cover pairs Freight Big and Freight Sans; selecting a soft blue that appeared so often in Cazabon’s skies, and option for one of his rarer oil paintings for the cover. A simple grid was established, and a style set for chapter openers. Throughout, I tried to let Cazabon’s work itself guide me, in terms of that balance of areas of focus and wide open spaces that allow the viewer to breathe.