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Haitian Art Gallery

Collected by Marcus Rediker

Haiti has a profound history of revolutionary self-emancipation, based on the greatest slave revolt in modern history (1791-1804). The small island nation also boasts one of the world's greatest folk art traditions. It probably has more painters per capita than any other place on earth. They paint sheer wonder, as Andre Breton, leader of the surrealist movement, discovered when he arrived in Haiti in 1945. When he saw the paintings of the vodou houngan Hector Hyppolite, he remarked that by these astonishing works he recognized his own as failures.

I have long been fascinated by the history and art of Haiti, more specifically how the struggles of the Haitian people, past and present, have been recorded, remembered, and disseminated in their art. I have in recent years collected Haitian paintings, which are presented here with commentary. I have a special interest in the historic fusion of the beliefs, forms, and aesthetics of Haitian vodou with those of French metropolitan surrealism.

I would refer anyone who may be interested in this art to the website of Galerie Macondo, run by my friend Bill Bollendorf, who has been involved with Haitian art and artists for more than thirty years. I would also encourage anyone who may be moved by the massive suffering in Haiti after the earthquake to donate to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti.

Most of the paintings in the gallery are not for sale, but inquiries will be taken at contact@marcusrediker.com. In the event of a sale, a portion of all proceeds will be donated to the hospital.

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