"When Ras Dizzy was in the US he was still a nationalist. He is now standing beside Shirley Basie. They are both singers & songwriters." / Acrylic on Canvas Board / 14"x18"
It is believed that Ras Dizzy was born in 1932 as Birth Livingstone, the date and name stated in his passport, although he also used Birch Lincoln and Dizzy Gillespie Johnson, as well as several other variations on his name. Ras Dizzy has exhibited widely in Jamaica and abroad. The National Gallery of Jamaica included him in the two major surveys of Intuitive art which followed the 1979 exhibition, “The Intuitive Eye”, namely “Fifteen Intuitives" (1987) and “Intuitives III” (2005), and also several Annual National and National Biennial exhibitions. His overseas exhibitions include: Jamaican Intuitives (1987) at the Commonwealth Institute in London; New World Imagery (1995), an exhibition of contemporary Jamaican art which toured in England, and Redemption Songs (1997 & 2002), an exhibition of work by Jamaican Intuitives which toured in the USA. Ras Dizzy was an extremely prolific painter whose work was very widely collected. David Boxer, the National Gallery’s Chief Curator, described him as “a man who seemingly lives and paints at the very edge of what we might call sane/rational existence” - a judgment borne out, perhaps, by the often peculiar titles Ras Dizzy bestowed on his works. Ras Dizzy died in Kingston on April 17, 2008.