Pierre, Fernand (1922–2002)

155. Gingerbread Houses_
c1996 (36x30)

   Fernand Pierre was born in a Port–au–Prince slum and, by his talent first as a sculptor and then as a painter, worked his way into both relative prosperity and widespread acclaim.

   His choice of subjects was eclectic. A 'first generation' artist who contributed a small piece to the first round of Episcopal Cathedral adornments, Pierre was a masterful draftsman with a sure sense of color.

   In Gingerbread Houses Pierre, like so many others, renders an idealized Haïti, an Haïti that he wished existed.
   Jungle reflects a hackneyed theme in Haitian art — the lost African homeland. The late Gabriel Alix was a master of this genre. Many have followed him — notably Pierre Maxo, but also Smith Blanchard, Joel Gauthier, Fritz Merise, and Jerome Polycarpe. Pierre, who did it seldom, rendered 'Africa' better than most of the others.



84. Jungle
 c1985 (14x39)






     Pierre–Louis, Prospère (1947–87/96)

94. Loas_
c1986 (24x24)

   One of the most talented of the Saint–Soleil group — along with Levoi Exil and Louisiane St–Fleurant — Pierre–Louis was the son of an oungan. Coming to Port–au–Prince in 1963, he worked as a barber, then became a domestic servant. The woman in whose home he worked both helped to establish the St–Soleil school and then encouraged Pierre–Louis to join it.
   Pierre–Louis died, all too young, of a severe attack of asthma, but whether in 1987 or in 1996 I don't know.

     Pluviose, Dieudonne (1928–   )

27. Wedding Procession
c1976: 30x40

   A first–class narrative artist, Pluviose was a favorite of the late Issa el–Saieh. A major promoter of Haitian art, Issa maintained a gallery in his home, just up the hill from the Olofsson Hotel. I bought 'Wedding Procession' at Issa's urging. It's a gem.

   Though the scene is highly stylized, anyone who's spent much time in Port-au-Prince will recognize this location; it has, however, never been so clean or colorful.

   Cockfight was obtained in an auction. The 'sport' is widely practiced in Haïti, alas, and is a not infrequent subject of paintings.



238. Cockfight
c2010, 24x20



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