Brésil, Henri–Robert (1952–99)


237. Waterfall_
c1999 (12x20)

 

   Born in Gonaïves, Brésil moved to the capital in 1973. His talent was quickly recognized and gallery owners encouraged and subsidized his early work. He received a UNESCO Prix d'Honneur in 1981 and exhibited widely outside Haïti — in the United States, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan.
   In his lush and dense landscapes, shades of green predominate, often with complementary blues and contrasting but small highlights in red and yellow. Brésil's works now commonly sell in the four figures.
   The artist is said to have died violently, but I know no nothing of his fate.

      Bruny, Gerald (1955–86)


28. Tonton Macoute
c1976 (24x19)

   A native of Port-au-Prince, Bruny emigrated to the U S sometime in the 1970s. During his relatively brief painting career, he worked at the gallery of Issa El-Saieh, one of the foremost promoters of Haitian art.  
  
T
onton Macoute is a vodou bogeyman: parents warn children that, if they misbehave, he will spirit them away. The paramilitary police force with which the Duvaliers terrorized the Haitian people for nearly three decades was called 'Tontons Macoutes.'
   In December 2000 a Bruny was offered in an e–Bay auction. Others appear on the website of Indigo Arts, a Philadelphia gallery. They are the only other Brunys I've ever seen.

      Byron, Bourmond (1920/23–2004)


110. Scène rurale
c1988 (18x24)

215. Vilaj Pêche
c2000 (16x20)

253. Fishermen Setting Sail
c.late1950s (15.75x17)

   Bourmond Byron boasted one of the most distinctive styles of any Haitian artist. Born and residing near Jacmel, at the head of Haïti's long southern peninsula, he was a carpenter and shipbuilder before a 1948 visit to Port–au–Prince, and a stop at the Centre d'Art, inspired him to begin painting. For the next half–century he would appear, unannounced, at one gallery or another, offering works both distinctive and of uniformly high quality.
   A vodou adept, his mature work is noted for its brooding, dark colors, with blues and blue-greens predominating. Though he's featured in many collections, Byron remains an under–appreciated artist. (His daughter, Benita, paints in a similar style.)
   Fishermen Setting Sail was obtained in a 2014 auction of some 1050 works from the eclectic collection of film director Jonathan (The Silence of the Lambs) Demme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



243. Vilaj Pêche
c2000 (48x24)

 

 

 

 


 

 


 



 



 



 

 

       Cantave, Joseph (1963-   )

235. Woman on Balcony_
2002 (24x20)

The following is from Medalia (www.medalia.net/artistpage/CantaveJpre.html):

    Joseph Cantave was born in Haiti ... His work is popular in New England, where he currently resides and works. He apprenticed with the popular Italian Painter Anthony Gillepsi from 1983 to 1985 ... As a result, he developed a technically sophisticated impressionistic style, blending pigments to create colors that are multidimensional. He chooses to work with oils, rather than the acrylics favored by many of the artists today. His work can be found in art galleries and public libraries as well as private collections all over the United States. In addition, his work is also in many private collections in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, England, France, Haiti, Italy, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand.

   The artist also maintains his own site: www.josephcantave.net/home.html

 

 

       Casimir [Laurent, Casimir] (1928–90)


181. Marché_
c1999 (24x20)

   In the early 1970s, a painting much like this one appeared on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Magazine. Casimir had earlier done similar works, but also more traditional studies of everyday life. (For an earlier Casimir, click the Marché thumbnail, right.)
   After his Times cover, however, he'd found his 'formula' — something that sold — and he then painted basically the same thing over and over. In that he's not alone. The desperate poverty in Haïti, even among some of the finest Haitian artists, encourages painters to do whatever will bring them a bit of money.
   Since it sells, Casimir's formula has been imitated by scores of Haitians. Few if any of these derivative 'crowd' or 'market' scenes are so carefully executed as Casimir's.
   I got my first Casimir because of a Port-au-Prince gallery owner's exactions. (See Léontis.) It was damaged beyond repair in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and discarded. I replaced it because I wanted my collection to include a sample of this uniquely Haitian formula.

 

           

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