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French Caribbean Art

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Cari Holmes

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of French Caribbean Art

French Caribbean Art
Performance, Visual, Propaganda
By: Breanna Brandes-Banes
Cari Holmes
Taylor Townsend
“Early Caribbean art was an uneasy mix of styles. Loosening colonial ties and a more rooted Creole community's desire for autonomy, encouraged local themes. Some artists bowed to the rigours of traditional figure and landscape painting. Others flirted with relatively modern impressionist and post-impressionist styles for painting, or art deco forms for sculpture. Still others explored spiritual concerns inherited from African art. Often, all these styles converged in a single art work. The result was a cultural expression that was tense, inelegant, technically incompatible but nevertheless challenging.”
Visual Arts
French Caribbean Art Background
French Caribbean art is ultimately a hybrid of stylistic influences from European and Asian countries. This is a result of the strong European colonization of these islands, as well as the prominent trade market (sugars, spices, slaves and other goods).

French Caribbean Art is usually considered a form of modern art because there is little evidence of local art being created until the 20th century. Most of the art we find prior to the 20th century was usually a result of European visitors depicting the landscape.

Due to repression from colonization, early forms of French Caribbean art were performance based and meant for yearly celebrations or carnivals.
Haitian Art
“The opening of the Centre D'art in 1944 forced Haitian art to address issues of contemporary history through providing the artists with an opportunity to have their paintings exposed to the world; the training and the discipline of the artists, which transcended beyond professionalism. This process reflected more than everyday peasant life, or the life of the wealthy.”
Philome Obin
-Very rudimentary training in art
-His style became very influential in -Haitian art because he depicted everyday life for a common citizen in Haiti
-Studied at the Centre D’art and became a master there for close to four decades.
The Last Supper, 1950’s, Haiti, Port-au-Prince, St. Trinity
Seymour Etienne Bottex

-Born 25 December 1922 in Port Margot, in northern Haiti
-Bottex worked as a photographer until 1955 when his older brother Jean-Baptiste encouraged him to begin painting.
-He joined the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince
-His paintings, mingling humorous, historical, and biblical themes, are exhibited worldwide.
Rigaud Benoit
Performance Arts
In the Beginning…
-Many Contributors to French Caribbean music: South Americans, Africans, Spanish, French, British
-Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique
-Lyrics sung in Creole
-Language: Creole, Arabic, Spanish and other languages brought to the island over time have shaped music. Many of the performers sing in one language, or a combination of languages, including English.
-Suffrage of slavery
-Largely inspired by neighboring countries
Main Types of Music
Chouval Bwa
Kadans and Cadence
Gwo Ka
-Originated in 19th Century
-Two distinct styles: biguine bélé (drum biguine) and orchestrated biguine
-Biguine bélé originated from slave dances on sugar plantations
-Percussion instrument used called Tibwa
-Orchestrated biguine was more french in character
Chouval Bwa
-4-5 member orchestra
-Means cheval bois or “wooden horse”
-Instruments included a tanbour, a bel-air, tibwa, chacha, and and accordian
Kadans and Cadence
This style of music was brought from Haiti
Small jazz ensembles
Combined with Calypso
Spoke often of social issues.

Means “party”, “place to dance”
Emerged in 1980’s from biguine, cadence, and other music styles
Gwo Ka
Means “big drum”
Ideally played with 3 Ka, 2 boula, 1 maké
Originated from african dances such as congo and snake dances.
“Two low pitch and one high pitch”
Kompa is unique to this area
Chouval Bwa is unique to this area
Combines African rythms and European ballroom dance
Means “beat” or “pulse”
Constant drumming makes it easy to dance to

-Considered Modern Art
-Mostly present in Haiti
-In the 1820's, French artists were invited to promote and train Haitian artists. -This launched the beginning of the French oriented academies in the country and resulted with a school of art in Port-au-Prince.
-The artists who were trained and received schooling from the French-oriented academies were often commissioned to paint and decorate public buildings and houses of the wealthy citizens. At this time, and throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the paintings were not representative of the people or any particular tradition.
-The arrival of an American named Dewitt Peters in 1943 marked the beginning of a true revolution of Haitian arts because he started to oversee the development of Haitian artists and encouraged an art center as well as each artist's individual style.
-In the modernization process, talented but previously unknown artists such as Hector Hyppolite, Philome Obin, Rigaud Benoit, and Castera Bezile stepped forward to work with Dewitt.

Marcus Garvey
Francois Duvalier
Philome Obin
Les Bourgeois du Cap-Haitien vers 1900-1919
Carnaval du Cap Haitien 1946, 1950
Adam and Eve, 1980
Paradis Terrestre
(Garden of Eden), 1980

-Studied at Centre D’art
-A native of Port-au-Prince, Benoit had been a shoemaker, musician, and taxi driver before making his living as a painter. He had also supplemented his income by painting pottery, pieces he rarely signed or acknowledged.
-Some of Benoit's later work was surrealistic, though he continued to produce scenes of Haitian life and narrative scenes.
Reine des Etoiles, 1982
Martinique Street Art
-Very modern form of art found typically in Fort-de-France
-“Street Art Utopia” project being put together by Nuxuno Xän
-Artists will typically remain anonymous
Famous Propaganda
Gwo Ka is unique to this area
Performance Arts (Martinique)
Le Grande Ballet de la Martinique
Originated in 1947, dancing to traditional rhythms of mazurka and biguine.

Composed of thirty musicians and dancers dressed in traditional costumes. Ballets are meant to commemorate the music, costume and dance of the 1940s.
Propaganda Art
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