early painting placed Port–au–Prince artist Louissaint in a group I call the 'semi–fantastiques.'
Duffaut may be the inspiration of the genre, though his own works
Others in my collection include
Auguste, Murat St–Vil, and
Torchon. There are many more, a few of them quite good.
Louizor 'was born in Port–au–Prince in 1938. His painting career
176. Symboles mystiques_
Magliore's is the most tragic story in the history of Haitian art. Only
the deaths of Charles Obas and
Camy Rocher rival it.
Stivenson, or Stevenson (some claim he was named for the American statesman Adlai Stevenson), was one of two painter–sons of Louisianne St–Fleurant. Though he left the St–Soleil school early on, he continued to paint vodou scenes. But where most of the other St–Soleil artists evoke benign lwas and gentle scenes, Stivenson's gods are scary and his scenes violent.
He attracted international acclaim in his mid–20s. He had little time to enjoy it.
A political activist, Stivenson was an outspoken supporter of President Jean–Bertrand Aristide (then in exile, subsequently restored, exiled again, and now returned as a private citizen). Though the United States approved the artist's petition for political refugee status in August 1994, he remained in Haïti, hoping to witness Aristide's return — and also to recover a favorite painting he said had been stolen from him.
In October, a couple of weeks after the American invasion, Stivenson was attacked in the street by neighbors — perhaps because of his political views, perhaps in retaliation for his charge that one or more of them had stolen his painting, and possibly for both reasons. Gravely injured, he ventured out again two days later, was viciously beaten, and then stoned to death. Stivenson knew that the world is a scary place
|Nothing known: just liked it.
I've seen a few other works by Malherbe in various galleries. All were distinctive, decorative, and interesting in their flat, two–dimensional presentation.
Mentor, a native
of St Louis de Sud, is a fine naïf. He's been extensively exhibited; but he's mostly ignored in books on Haitian art,
though Eva Pataki's curious opus (see
includes him. His works rarely appear in galleries, real or virtual,
although I have encountered them occasionally online.
Purchased on the recommendation of Néhemy Jean (see right), this painting has occupied a prominent location in each of the some dozen apartments and houses I've lived in the past four–plus decades.
An Evening with Néhemy
During my first visit to Haïti, in July 1972, I did something I repeated
on the next couple of my nearly two dozen trips. I asked a gallery owner I liked
— and from whom I'd already bought something — to choose one of his favorites for
That was a bit misleading. Though the major galleries were owned by people of Near Eastern descent, most of them were either Haïti–born or longtime residents. (And the modern Haitian art movement's midwives, DeWitt Peters and Selden Rodman, were both Americans.)
choice followed a surreal evening.
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