When I bought this work, I
thought — as all Haitian art collectors do at some point — 'Aha! a new Hyppolite.'
Paillan (also spelled Paillant) was only 17 or 18 when he painted Ville mystique. His fine, natural talent was later redirected. He now does mostly decorative works, in the manner of the 'semi–fantastiques.' The later pieces are far more technically accomplished, but less interesting to me, than this early vodou scene. (A sample of his recent work may be seen by clicking on the thumbnail.)
Paul, too, was once called 'the new Hyppolite.' He's certainly not that.
But he's an entertaining, intriguing, and often inspired artist who
alternates between scenes of vodou and of everyday life. (I've resold one of
his works and given another to a dying friend who liked it.)
Wedding Procession is one of my very favorite naïf works. I was in a Port–au–Prince gallery, just after New Year's Day 1980, when Paul arrived with the painting. Even before he sold it to the gallery, I had bought it from the gallery–owner.
The last I knew Gérard Paul was living somewhere in the United States.
60. 'Dancing Lwa'
I know nothing about this
painter. I also know nothing about his model. She is a very beautiful
young woman — or maybe just a gorgeous girl.
Paul gives her name
in other works as 'Gertie,' so maybe he doesn't really like her. On the
other hand, a guy named Wilbert may deem 'Gerti' an attractive name.
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