This charming original painting was made circa 1970s in Haiti and embodies the traditional outsider art style of that island culture. Haitian painting went through a renaissance in the 1940s, an era that produced painters including Pilomé Obin, Benoit, Bazile, and Cayemitte. According to an interview with Dr. Carol Damian, Professor of Art History specializing in Caribbean art: “Haiti’s art reflects a cultural and national identity that manifests itself in an extraordinary outpouring of visual imagery. The art of Haiti, especially painting, has long been recognized by an international community for its innate genius, enchanting beauty, and rich mythical content.” Haitian paintings often repeat common themes, such as this painting of village life. We can recognize a stylistic elongated form to the people in the painting, influenced by design of the 1970s. The handmade frame, now distressed with the white painted wood border on the interior discolored from ground-in dust, also is characteristic of that era. The painting was coated in dirt and dust, which I have gently cleaned. The medium is acrylic, and the colors are still vibrant. I love the use of pink in the palette, although we also see red, blue, greens, and golden yellows among others. The piece is signed on the bottom left, but only with the name of the country, HAITI, and not the artist. Like most pieces of outsider art, this one's maker is unknown.
This vintage painting is done on chipboard (masonite) that measures about 16" wide by 12" tall. The frame is thick and adds quite a bit of size, for a total framed width of just under 19" by about 15" height. I want to be clear that the frame is distressed. This was not a professional framing, it has rough twine for hanging and nails holding the painting in the frame, but the chipboard moves around within the frame.
Colorful art from Haiti!
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