Annisey, Roi David (1967–   )


180. 'Ayiti Gro Peyi…'_
c1999 (16x14)

       The full title of this work, in Haitian Kréyol (or Creole), is 'Ayti Gro Peyi. Tòto, Sou Tout Fa'm.' ('Haïti is a big country. Everywhere, everyone is hungry.')
   Annisey, born in Jacmel, began winning acclaim in the early 1990s. He is an inspired artist and superb draftsman who combines social and vodou themes. (His mother was a sèvitè, or servitor, a disciple and key aide to an oungan, a priest.)
   Many if not most of 'King David's' works chronicle — and scream against  — the misery of the Haïtian people.

     Antoine, Montas (1926–1988)


8. Scène rurale_
c1972 (24x30)

        Montas is a first–class naïf. Note not only how he's oblivious to perspective, but also how he cannot tolerate 'dead space' — he is compelled to put a bird everywhere into what would otherwise be empty sky.

   This was one of the works I bought on my first, 1972, visit to Haïti. I've looked for other pieces by Montas. I've not seen one I liked more.
   A first generation artist, Antoine is valued less highly than I think he ought to be. He himself was delighted, however, when one of his works commanded the highest price — $1,150 (about $6,037 in 2014 dollars) — at a 1973 'Streetworkers' auction in New York City, more than pieces by some of the best–known Haitian masters.
   I was at that auction as was a tireless promoter of Haitian art, the late Selden Rodman. Though several masterpieces were offered, few bids met the works' reserves and most of them went unclaimed. Held in a brief lull between two heavy snowstorms, the event was sparsely attended — and that no doubt affected the number of bidders as well as the size of the bids.
      

     Arijac [Jacques, Harry] (1937–   )


163. Portrait of a Woman_
1998 (24x20)

       Arijac practiced as an architect in Gonaïves, his hometown, before beginning his career as a painter in the mid–1960s. One of Haïti's most accomplished artists, Arijac uses the ancient encaustic method — a combination of pigments, beeswax, and turpentine. His portraits, notably of beautiful women, are especially fine.

           

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