Posted on November 09, 2016 by Nathalie Lubin
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I was born and raised in Haiti. Every day, on my way to school, looking out the window of my father’s car, the only thing that would really keep me entertained on the road was the colorful paintings and patterns of Street Haitian artists that would adorn the walls of almost every building in the city.
This daily routine has subconsciously fed my interest in patterns and patches. Most Haitian paintings are filled with several subjects (mostly marketplaces) & colors and patterns weaved into one another.
At the age of 18, my mother - probably noticing the artistic skills that I have- installed an artist friend's old easel in my bedroom. It was mine to use, to create. My grandmother gave me my first set of acrylic paint, gouache, and paintbrushes of all sizes that belonged to my late great uncle who had passed away. I had no idea of the artist that slept inside of me until I dared to hold my first filbert brush in my hand. Maybe my peers' energy was channeled through my eyes, hands etc.
I have spent the past 10 years, painting and teaching art. Selling, and holding several exhibits; some underground and others at brief museums showings. The most interesting part of these exhibits for me has been to hear my critics; what my viewers had to say about my art . Many would not call my art "Haitian".
I, myself identify as being Haitian, holding the essence of my country in my strokes maybe through the colors, the patterns, the subjects or the stories. However, you will not find the typical merchants, cabins, trees and mystical deities depicted in my art. You will probably relate to my subject or the story being told. You will probably be educated with the different styles that I try to throw on my canvas. My paintings are me. An open book of possibilities.
It would probably come as a surprise that, although interested in patterns and the multiplying subjects in Haitian paintings, I've had an uncontrollable love for the art of One; that is art focusing on one subject. I am studying the art of Loneliness. How do I incorporate a certain delineation of patterns and scattered colors to focus the attention on just ONE? For that, I had to create that contrast; where my subject is the one with the patterns and colors; holding patches/pixels that marry one another and become ONE.
Most of my paintings hold only one subject. One who asks the audience their undivided focus/attention. That is where a certain particularity, uniqueness, grace and beauty is born through the feeling of Loneliness. And just by irony, I tend to balance this "sad" feeling with VIBRANT / BOLD colors.