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Haitian Art

Haitian Art

The art of the people of Haiti is unique in that it blends African traditions with those stylings of Indigenous/Native Americans and Europeans, as that cultural makeup is the legacy of the country itself. As with any broad classification of art, Haitian art is often subdivided into its respective mediums, the most prolific of which are painting and sculpting. Haitian art is often heavily influenced by events and trends of the time it was created, ranging from European colonization to the devastating earthquake of 2010 and other natural disasters.

In 1944, a group of artists created the Centre d'Art d'Haiti, a movement that often incorporates the religious practice of voudou, as well as bright colors and a general sense of spontaneity. Approximately three decades later, a rural artistic movement known as Movement Saint-Soleil emerged, focusing on the actual study of the art of painting. This type of art is very symbolic, but also relies on voudou imagery to convey a message. Still others, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, spread Haitian art throughout the region, taking the artistic customs and unique culture to other parts of the world.

Haitian art in the form of sculpture is far more primitive than some of the most famed painters. There is evidence of art created by the Tainos, the native Haitians that were overtaken by Europeans. In the present, Haitian sculptors tend to repurpose items, drawing increased attention to all the damage that can be caused by a natural disaster. This ties in especially well to the ramifications of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, wherein the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince was destroyed, along with many of its priceless pieces of art. Regardless of this loss, though, the spirit of Haitian art continues to emerge through their various creations, adding to our global understanding of the history, heritage, and culture of the nation.

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