Big Apple Artist to Poineer Art Exuma

Panting the colours of Exuma is a daunting task, but Jason Borbay will give it a shot.

The eccentric artist turned his cramped one-bedroom apartment, both art studio and abode for his wife and daughters, into a spacious villa at Grand Isle Resort & Spa. His favored perch outside the Guggenheim, announced by tour guides on big red buses, has shifted to a hole-in-the wall seafood shack, or the beach of a remote cay along Exuma’s 365-island chain.

From a population of eight million to a few thousand, from a land of concrete to a lush paradise, Borbay’s mind is blown.

“The colors here are incredible: the blues, the sunsets … this pervasive sense of color. Exuma just has this rich, beautiful sky that meets this turquoise blue in the water,” he said.

“Just being here, it’s valuable for the creative process to step out of my comfort zone. The sensations of the island have affected my work. Let’s say I’m operating on a B+ to A- stress level in Manhattan. Here I’m near an F. I feel very relaxed, and I feel like I can create freely and let it flow.”

You can watch a video of Borbay talking about his work here.

While Exuma might be Borbay’s latest muse, the self-represented artist has been making a splash in the art world since 2009.

The former Legal/Development Associate for Donald Trump has not only sold his art globally, from China to Norway and everywhere in between, but he has also worked to refine and perhaps even re-invent the business model of an independent artist.

And people are noticing. Now a contributing writer for Forbes magazine, Borbay brings a unique combination of business acumen and artistic talent to the table, which has inspired his finest creation yet – Art Exuma.

Over the course of two months, in collaboration with GIV Bahamas Inc., Borbay’s task is simple: produce a collection of work that showcases the famous beauty of Exuma, with the intent of curating an ongoing, artistic, interactive experience on the island.

In other words, Borbay is only the beginning of an Artist-in-Residence program.

“I brought 7 canvases, and one big unstretched canvas. I have three completed already, and two new ones underway,” he said. ” I came in thinking seven would be a lot, and now that I’m here, I might do more. There is no shortage of inspiration.”

2015-04-01 11.01.17

Meanwhile, Borbay, who was named by Time Out New York as the Most Creative New Yorker, is seeking to create an artist-in-residence program for the island.

He will also be collaborating with local artists and the Wenshua Art Gallery on Exuma to further cultivate the art scene.

Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas Inc, first met Borbay during a Tiger21 meeting in Montreal.

After Borbay delivered his presentation, he immediately knew this would be a good fit for the Bahamas.

“Exuma is already special for its incredible water, the islands and just its overall beauty,” said Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas Inc. “But a place is also about its people. Through initiatives from Art Exuma, we also want to create a community of artists, thinkers and writers, working alongside doctors, venture capitalists, philanthropists, lawyers, teachers, bankers and hedge fund owners, and help make Exuma special place for the people it attracts.

To learn more about Art Exuma, and keep up with Borbay’s imaginative work, you can visit its Facebook page at, or follow along on Instagram @artexuma.

You can also learn more about Jason Borbay by visiting his website at