Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds (1911-1989) - The National Library of Jamaica

Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds (1911-1989)

Mallica Reynolds was born on February 10, 1911 in the district of Byndloss, St. Catherine. His career as an artist began in the 1930s. ‘Kapo’ as he was more popularly called was a self-taught artist. He was more popularly known for his painting but he was also a sculptor. Kapo along with the late Sidney McLaren and Brother Everald Brown, led the group of artists referred to as the ‘Intuitives’. This group of artists tried to capture on canvas or in wood, the spirit or living forces behind objects and situations.

Kapo’s works have been exhibited widely both at home and abroad. He has held exhibitions in New York in 1953, 1969 and 1982; Los Angeles 1964 and 1968; and in Washington D.C. in 1972. His works form a part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica.

In 1981, Kapo’s painting “Shining Spring” was chosen as a wedding gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer from the Government and people of Jamaica. “Shining Spring” was selected by the Institute of Jamaica, along with the Office of the Prime Minister because it was felt to be representative of true Jamaican art. Besides being an artist, Kapo was a deeply religious man. He was an ordained Bishop of a revivalist sect. He was patriarch and founder of the St. Michael’s Revival Tabernacle. Some of his earlier works carry religious themes. He was the recipient of many awards in Jamaica. These are as follows:

  • 1966 – Gold Medal from Emperor Haile Selassie during his visit to Jamaica that year;
  • 1969 – Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica
  • 1977 – Awarded the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica
  • 1985 – The Norman Manley Award for Excellence in the Fine Arts
  • 1985 – Gold Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica

Kapo was married twice.  He died on February 24, 1989 leaving widow Sheila and children.