Stopping by Petion-ville to meet with Haitian artists, I met Louis Saurel(1975- Present). He is a Haitian painter who focuses his art on abstract themes, musical themes and the local countryside. His art can be found, hanged up on the walls of Petion-ville, and a few times a week he is at his vendor spot located close to the Hotel Kinam. The days he is not at his vendor spot, others have the chance to sell artwork at his spot to fellow locals or to the tourists.
Louis Saurel is a 43 year old experienced artist born in Martissant Port-au-Prince in 1975. He has been selling his paintings in the streets of Port-au-Prince for over 20 years. His entry into painting first arose due to a love of doing calligraphy as a young man. After he learned the skill of calligraphy, he began to learn the craft of creating paintings. Once Louis Saurel was skilled enough in creating paintings he began to sell his art close to the Toussaint Louverture Airport. After a few years he moved to a new location and sold his art in Champs de Mars close to the National Palace. More recently he has been selling his artwork in the streets of Petion Ville.
Louis Saurel was taught the craft of painting in the workshop or atelier of Rodriquez Joseph and Frantz Casil when he was an older teenager. In the beginning his teachers focused on teaching him to improve his drawings, and once he had done so, they taught him how to create paintings from his drawings. Louis Saurel says he has passed his love of art and drawing to his 6 young children, who are all currently going to school.
When I asked him who his favorite Haitian artist is, he smiled, and said by far his favorite artist is Lyonel Laurenceau. He says he loves the masterful art that this Montreal based Haitian prodigy has created over the decades of his life. I smiled back and asked him what other Haitian artists have inspired him and he mentioned a few more names including Jacques Val Bruns, Xavier Neriston, Wilder St. Louis and his 2 brothers. I was thankful to hear the names of a few Haitian artists who inspire others and we hope that we will meet them very soon. I thanked Louis Saurel for his time and encourage others to buy Haitian art from this talented artist just as we have at Haitian Street Art.
An energetic self-taught artist from the Fort National area of Port-au-Prince is Lebruns, Rubens(1983-present). Lebrun enjoys to paint various topics and learning from his fellow artist peers. He loves to paint the monuments, the countryside and rural life of Haiti. The Haitian artists that he most admires in artistic style includes Raymond Lafaille, Jean-Louis Bonaventure and Frantz Adrien Monsanto. He started to paint full time in 2003 and says currently he paints daily.
Lebruns, Rubens says that the street art community in Petion-ville has helped him improve many aspects of his paintings by critiquing him when they see his paintings lacking from their viewpoint. He currently sells his paintings personally in the Petion-ville streets as there is more tourist traffic there and a better chance of finding customers.
He hopes to continue to learn and grow as a painter. We enjoyed chatting with this energetic and talented painter. Lebrun, Rubens encouraged us to take many pictures of his artwork and we are happy to share them with you.
A 50 year old Haitian painter I had the pleasure of interviewing and the opportunity to take pictures of his original paintings, is Elysee Remere(1967-present). I discussed with him his current art career and personal life. Elysee has been married for many years and has a daughter who is interested in studying medicine. When he is not painting or selling his artwork, he loves to relax by watching international and local soccer matches on television. Elysee, Remere was born in the Southwest of Haiti in Petit Flamens which is close to the city of Cavaillon. He got his school education at the College Mathurin. Elysee has always enjoyed artwork, he says that drawing at an early age lead him to painting and eventually a career as an artist
Elysee, Remere is a self-taught artist, who loves painting various topics, using different styles of art. He told me that he began painting as a full-time career in 2003. He sells and displays many of his paintings in a street display located in Petion-ville, Port-au-Prince. He told me that he spends many hours each day working on his paintings. He had beautiful topics in the paintings that I had the pleasure of examining the day I spoke to him. It was refreshing discussing his artwork with him.
The picture at the beginning of the article is of Elysee, Remere holding a large colorful painting which depicts parrots in a thick jungle. The following picture is of Elysee holding 2 paintings of surrealist abstract human figures in a relaxed pose in front of musical instruments, using a mellow green color palette The painting at the bottom of this paragraph is one of our favorites, a painting of a happy and peaceful Haitian rural landscape with 2 people walking down a path. Elysee, Remere gets the inspiration for his paintings from his life and his imagination. His laid-back and joyful attitude is woven into his wonderful artwork. Haitian Street Art has enjoyed viewing and purchasing Elysee, Remere's artwork and we hope you will too.
Dieubon, Darilus(1966-present) is a 52 year old Haitian metal artist with a street metal art shop located at the side of the Pan-American Highway in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His metal shop displays hundreds of various metal art pieces of varying designs. These are created by him and his fellow colleagues that live close to the shop. Dieubon was born in the southwest of the country in the Anse-a-Veau commune in the Nippes Department. The capital of the Nippes Department is the coastal port city of Miragoane. Dieubon Darilus was born into a peasant farmer family and was raised by a single mother. Dieubon has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He says that early in his childhood his mother moved the family to Port-au-Prince where she began to work. Due to financial hardships, Dieubon was not able to completely finish his education.
Dieubon, Darilus as a young man pursued both music and metal artwork as he enjoyed both artistic ventures. He was a member of the Twoubadou musical group called the "Etoiles D'or" which translates to "Golden Stars". He played the acoustic miniature guitar for the musical group that performed in small night clubs and venues around Port-au-Prince. Dieubon still enjoys playing musical instruments but he has now retired from musical performance. In 1986 at the age of 20, he began an apprenticeship under a blacksmith and artist called Boss Andre Carlo. Andre Carlo, taught him how to create metal artwork from recycled and upcycled metal drum sheets.
Since 1986 Dieubon, Darilus has not stopped creating metal art work. He uses various tools to create the metal art including, the Mato, the Burin and the Poinceau. A Mato is a flat hammer used to pound the metal, a Burin is a cold steel chisel used to cut the metal or engrave fine lines and a Poinceau is a large nail like tool used to emboss circular designs on the metal artwork. Dieubon told us that he loves making unique metal artwork designs that are enjoyed by his customers. Throughout his life he has travelled in the Caribbean and South America selling his artwork through small art shops. However he wasn't being given any recognition or appreciation so he decided to return to his home country of Haiti and start his own art shop. Dieubon, Darilus says he hopes the Haitian government will start to help street metal artists like him. Haitian Street Art had a chance of visiting his street art shop and we enjoyed viewing the many wonderful art pieces that he had on display in his metal art world. He is a talented artist that we look forward to working with in the future. Haitian street art hopes you will also support Haitian metal art.
Jacobs, Gerlandes(1985-present) is a young Haitian artist that I had the pleasure of talking to on my most recent trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in June 2017. Haitian street art was on a mission to meet more artists on this trip. One afternoon we drove to Petion-ville in the hopes of meeting a few of Haiti's street artists and we were not disappointed. We ran into Jacobs, Gerlandes across from the Kinam Hotel as he was standing in front of a display of many paintings that hung on the wall behind him for sale. When we talked to him, we were fortunate, as not only did he sell paintings but he was an artist himself.
Jacobs, Gerlandes was born in the city of Jacmel, which is located in the South East coast of Haiti. Jacmel was the first city in the Caribbean to have electricity in 1925 and at that time got the nickname the City of Light. Jacmel also has a very active art scene especially papier-mâché which is artwork created by sculpting paper with an adhesive glue. Jacobs, Gerlandes was born into an artistic family as he was inspired to pursue painting by watching his father Jacobs, Ronald who was a career painter. He told us his father now lives in the Dominican republic. Jacobs, loved to draw while he was at school, the College Mix Thallette, and at the age of 20 he enrolled into the Center for Arts in Port-au-Prince and took formal art classes from 2005-2007. Currently he sells some great paintings on the street across from the Kinam Hotel but his higher quality paintings go to private clients who love his artwork.
The discussion soon focused on the artwork that Jacobs, Gerlandes now creates. He told us that his favorite topics to paint on canvas are market place patterns, market place scenes and colorful figures in folkloric dance. For example, one of Jacobs, Gerlandes unique styles, is his paintings of a group of people figures, in simple clothes with bright colorful patterns, dancing energetically to folklore music. We also enjoyed examining his miniature pattern paintings that he had on display for sale. It was refreshing to sit down and talk with this young talented artist and Haitian Street art hopes to aid him in his journey to success as a Haitian artist.
Odilon Frantz(1972-present) is a 44 year old self taught Haitian painter that we met in February 2016 whose artwork consists of oil paintings with lush colors and soulful themes. Many of his paintings display beautiful woman in a natural or abstract setting. He is from the Commune de Verettes in L'artibonite. His father worked as a mechanic and his mother as a housewife. He was introduced to art at the age of 17 in 1989 by a friend who worked in the tailor industry. Falling in love with art, he has been painting since that age. Odilon is also a Christian and a pastor and dreams of starting his own church.
Odilon finds inspiration for his art from the natural world that surrounds him. He revealed to us that his favorite artist is Lyonel Laurenceau. He told us that when a person spends time enjoying his art that provides him great professional satisfaction. He has been selling his art through art vendors in the streets of Port-au-Prince for many years but aspires to have his artwork displayed in galleries and museums. He says that the lack of support, appreciation and financial satisfaction frustrates him and many other Haitian artists. As an artist he has also struggled with other artists copying his unique inspirations. His goal and dream as an artist is to be able to work on unique art masterpieces that may take weeks, have his art work collected and be able to stop painting quick reproductions of popular art on the street.We are glad to have Odilon Frantz's art work in our personal collection and for sale in the online store at Haitian Street Art.
Lamy Ytalis(1987-present) is a 29 year old artist painter and wooden craftsmaker, who was born in the city of O'Cayes but now lives and works in the coastal town of Montrouis on the Cotes des Arcadins(Coast of the Arcadins). We met him in September 2016 along with his mentor and colleague Ernso Michel. Lamy says he was encouraged to pursue his artistic talents by Ernso 6 years ago and started selling his artwork in 2010. Lamy currently lives and works at the Canaan Christian Community, Tete Kole Ak Kris in Montrouis a Christian Mission campus which includes a school and an orphanage. From this community he works on his acrylic paintings and wooden crafts. Lamy Ytalis sells most of his artwork to missionaries at the Canaan Christian Community or to tourists at the nearby beach resorts on the coast.
Lamy Ytalis told us that he enjoys visiting museums, swimming and diving among various things. He finds inspiration for his artwork in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Haiti. He creates acrylic paintings incorporating fishing boats, local fish, dolphins and the coral reef. He likes to paint deer that are not native to Haiti. He also enjoys painting the Haitian countryside and Haitian country life. Sometimes Lamy collaborates with his mentor and colleague Ernso and they create a painting together. He also creates various wooden crafts such as small painted bowls, inscribed machetes and wooden plates. Lamy told us he would love to visit museums worldwide, get more formal training and get increased recognition as an artist. His Facebook page is LamyY.Ytalis@facebook.com. You can enjoy or purchase his artwork at our online store Haitian Street Art.