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Artists: Gerard

Gerard Fortuné (generally known exclusively by his given name) was born circa 1920 (he is not certain exactly when) in Montagne Noir, above Petionville, Haiti. Originally a houngan and a pastry cook, he did not start to paint until around 1980. Gerard still lives alone in the tiny house where he was born, without running water or electricity. He speaks only Creole; he can neither read nor write.

Considered an "expressionist" by Seldon Rodman, who devotes a large part of a chapter of his book "Where Art is Joy - Haitian Art: The First Forty Years" to the painter, Gerard is regarded as one of the most original, creative and imaginitive of the self-tought Haitian painters. He is a primitive, or "brut" painter in the truest sense of the term. His early paintings are often characterized by the tilted, "off kilter" perspective as if his world is leaning to one side. Rural life and vodou are his principal themes.

Gerard is widely collected and exhibited in Europe as well as the US. The two very large paintings below - "Cailles" - meaning "dwellings" or houses, and "Village," each almost three by four feet in size, were painted in the the mid 1980s. These are offered from our personal collection.

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