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Artists: Andre Pierre

Andre Pierre
Andre Pierre was born in Port-au-Prince in 1914, and died in 2005. He was the artistic and spiritual heir of Hector Hyppolite, the "father" of Haitian painting. Born into a rural agricultural family, he decided one day in his youth to devote his life to Voudou. He was a houngan, or voudou priest, and a religious painter; his art documents the Haitian religion. Almost all his paintings represent the symbolic appearances of these African spirits. His first paintings were done inside the hollowed gourds used to contain the blood of sacrificed animals or offerings to loas, and he later began painting on board and canvas.

Major parts of his life work have been the decoration of hounfors, or voudou temples, some of which have been lost forever in various episodes of dechoukage, or the uprooting violence which is a part of the pattern of Haitian history. But most his works on canvas and panels survive, leaving us a precious history of the art of this "old master" of Haitian art.

Andre Pierre is considered one of Haiti's greatest painters. Seldon Rodman, in his excellent work 'Where Art Is Joy: Haitian Art - The First Forty Years' says: "Gerard Valcin and Wilmino Domond, next to Andre Pierre himself, were the dominent figures of the second generation." Pierre's paintings rarely come on the market today, and are treasured by serious collectors of Haitian art. Pierre's art has been documented in scores of books on naive and religious art, and have decorated the covers of many of these, including Seldon Rodman's 'Artists in Tune With Their World - Masters of Popular Art in the Americas & Their Relation to the Folk Tradition.'

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