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Artists: Camy Rocher

Camy Rocher may be unique in art history by establishing himself as an important painter with a very significant body of highly acclaimed work, while having lived only 23 short years.

Rocher was born in 1959 in Baraderes, on the southern peninsula of Haiti, and died tragically in 1981. Despite his short life, his works - which depict almost exclusively scenes of vodou practices and figures - are illustrated in almost every important reference on Haitian art. His works rarely appear on the market, and they are widely sought by collectors.

Rocher began to paint at the age of 12 or 13 under the patronage of the renowned artist Calixte Henry. Rocher's goal was to bear witness to his deeply engrained Vodou culture. The painting below illustrates a scene within a "pied bois," or sacred tree which contains in its broadly spreading and cavernous base a mystical significance for vodou practitioners. The "mambo" at the center of the scene is a priestess of the religion.

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