It was during the 20th century that the most vibrant artistic traditions of the art of Haiti evolved, creating a body of work whose richness continues to flourish and grow to this day, through tempest and heartbreak, through hardship and earthquake. Haitian art is by far the stellar performer in the realm of Caribbean artwork, and Haitian painting, Haitian voodoo flags, Haitian metal art and mixed media sculpture, currently so renowned, all reflect the perpetually astonishing ingenuity, talent, and mystical inspiration of the Haitian artists. The glory days of Haitian arts were launched through the efforts of DeWitt Peters, who arrived in Haiti in 1943 and eventually founded the Centre d’Art. One after another, the talented members of the roster of Haitian artists who are now celebrated worldwide came to the Centre d’Art and were encouraged and inspired to be “artists”. The art of Haiti was legitimized and the eyes of the world have been upon it ever since. The exuberance and misery, the joy and sorrow, the laughter and song, the sounds and colors and smells of Haiti and its Voodoo heritage, imbue every Haitian painting with the dynamism and electricity of life in all of its manifestations. The styles of all the varieties of Haitian artwork are many and spectacular, the sources of inspiration vast. We try to offer you a sampling of the best. You will find an extensive sampling of works by Haitian painters, from the best of the masters to emerging new talents. Our rich collection includes works by Bigaud, Bresil, Cedor, Duffaut, Fortune, Gregoire, Jean-Jacques, Lazard, Magloire, Pierre, St. Eloi,Valcin, Zephirin, and many others.
The creative force behind much of the art of Haiti is Haitian voodoo. It is a life-giving and practical religion, whose focus is the healing of the sick, feeding the hungry, and finding work and refuge for those in need. The dazzling ceremonial Haitian voodoo flags, spectacular “banners” composed of thousands of hand-sewn sequins and beads, focus attention on the ritual salutes at the start of a Haitian voodoo ceremony. Each Haitian voodoo flag represents a different voodoo deity, the lwa. The astonishing creative impulse of the talented flag-makers labors to combine symbols, figures and design, all imbued with deep significance, into a cohesive and unique work of art. Once unknown outside the confines of the world of Haitian Voodoo, these flags are now prized by the international art market, museums, and galleries. As with Haitian painting or the striking Haitian metal art, each Haitian voodoo flag artist has a unique style. We offer you a selection of flags of the highest quality by well-known artists Telemaque, Valris, Rockville, Lalanne, Maxon, and many others.
Intrigued by the iron crosses on the tombs, DeWitt Peters encouraged their blacksmith creators to let their fertile spirits take flight. First iron, and soon, the steel oil drum, provided the raw materials. Hence, the birth of Haitian metal art. Selden Rodman comments “Men take on the characteristics of animals and animals become manlike. Damballa desends into a tree as a serpent and the tree itself writhes and puts out tongues.” We offer you a variety of choice of the best of the Haitian metal art sculptors including Gabriel Bien-Aime, Serge Jolimeau, Jose Delpe, and Desrosiers.
A popular phrase in Haitian Creole is “map debrouillem” – I’ll make do. Suffering from a lack of traditional materials, the Haitian mixed media artist forges spectacular art from salvaged goods of every possible description. In the past it has been steel drums and flour sack canvases. The younger Haitian artists of the group Atis Rezistans create sculptures from car parts, bicycle chain, coins and all manner of found object. Nacius Joseph continues to produce magnificent wood carvings, and Lionel St. Eloi, Haitian painter and sculptor, has inspired a school of Haitian artists who use aluminum and glass.
The art of Haiti is an exotic wonderland of multiple meanings and innuendo. These works, by Haitian artists of prodigious talent, reflect the exuberance of spirit which provides the Haitian artist with the resources to continue to create. Haitian art is, above all, a celebration of life, the struggle, the humor, the joy and sorrow, the wonder and incomprehensibility of it all.