The Albert Schweitzer Institute’s Haitian Art Show was certainly a sight to see. In the back of the building, in a quiet, empty room, the most vibrant and unique art was displayed. The gallery opened on Monday, Feb. 16, and is home to beautiful, lifelike depictions of nature in Haiti.
Artists such as Elinord DuBreille and Larimer Saincilus painted works titled “Birds” and “Parrots I” with extremely bright colors and intricate details. Saincilus paints birds exclusively in his profession, and his talent truly shows. He is a renowned artist who created his own Haitian style combined with the ancient Byzantine style. Larimer’s brother Isner is also an artist, with a darker technique, painting works like “Night Hunter” where a tribal man triumphantly stands over the lion he has killed.
Other works of art in the gallery displayed realistic portrayals of bright red and yellow flowers, smoothly flowing water, and daily life of various Haitian people. Water is considered a luxury in Haiti, so many artists use it in their paintings to artistically display its importance. Having abundant sources of food is also an important aspect to the lives of the Haitian people. In one work, a man dragged a large wagon, filled to the rim with bright yellow bananas, with a blurred horizon in the distance.
Commoners have also been subjects for many of the paintings by Haitian artists. For instance, Albert Toussaint’s work, “Green Dresses,” is a colorful depiction of faceless women. Their dark silhouettes contrast against neon-colored clothing. His other work of art, “3 Market Women,” depicts similar looking women with baskets on their heads, going about their daily work.
Elie Nelson, another Haitian artist, also painted a picture of women in a market, a seemingly common theme amongst these types of artists depicting real-life situations. In Nelson’s painting, “Fresco,” happy children are running around a center of town playing with one another in brightly colored clothes. The colors seem to be a similar component of Haitian art in general.
Nelson’s “Sugar Cane” shows the sugar cane fields and a Haitian man in a cart being pulled by bulls. This aspect of hard work that goes into transporting goods and making a living is a central theme to many works of art.
Hugh Bourrett’s work “Piano” had a much more modern feel to it, with more geometric shapes and unusual colors, differing from the other typical Haitian paintings.
Despite the themes and subjects of various paintings, these works of art demonstrated the great talent of these Haitian artists and their love of bright colors.