BlogSeptember 26, 2018
By Kevin Jiha on February 2015 at Expressions Galerie D’art
Propriety of Expressions Galerie D’art.
Hi Paul! Can you tell me where you were born? How old are you? And when did you start painting?
I was born in Saint – Marc, May 31st 1945. I started painting when I was 10 years old. I was still in school at Frere de institution Chrétienne (FIC). I used to paint market scenes just like most people.
One of my instructors, Frere Antoine, saw the talent I had and told me that I could be a great painter. He wanted to give me a push so he introduced me to his brother in Paris. With his help I stopped painting with crayons and started with aquarelle. Frere Antoine’s brother asked me if I wanted to take online art classes. Three months later a received more information about the school, ABC de Paris.
I used to work on perspective, learned how to use the different colors and all the basics every painter should know.
Everyone knows you for painting roosters; did you always paint like this?
No! An American millionaire called Mrs. Mellon, one of the founders of the Hospital Albert Schweitzer, made me start painting roosters.
I did a painting for her of Simbi, a sort of mermaid. The painting represented a sort of aquarium. Mrs. Mellon really liked it because she was very found of voodoo paintings. Then she told me to try and paint other subjects.
Ismael St Sylus was a friend of mine. I told him that we should start a sort of school and teach the students what I learned in ABC Paris. They gave me a diploma and I was a laureate with African artist Papa Ibra Tall.
I started painting the roosters because everywhere In Haiti I saw rooster chicken roof mounted weathervane. For me the rooster represents the everyday battle for the bread. So I made a rooster painting inspired by what I saw on the roof of houses. It was part of the French architecture not Haitian.
When I was done with the painting, I brought it to Mrs. Mellon. She told me that she loved it but it misses something. The drawing misses your own style she said. If you had to make another painting like that people wouldn’t recognize you she said. You have to create your own style.
So I started to bring her paintings one after the other. Every time I brought her a painting she said it was better but that I should work more on it. One day she told me that I started to understand what she wanted. “You are starting to become like Picasso, someone that has his own style,” she said.
Nowadays when someone sees one of my paintings, they can recognize his style. They know that it is Paul Nemour. The rooster is the symbol of France but for me the rooster is the symbol of everyday battle. When you say Paul Nemour you also say the Rooster. The Rooster is animal that fights to live and you have to fight to live. This is my motto.
When you look at the painting above what do you see?
It’s a painting that I made especially for Expressions Galerie D’art.
In this painting you see roosters in a garden of flowers. For me, the flowers represent everything that is good in life. We cannot live with black clouds all the time. When I put a rooster in a garden of flowers it means that there is still life in the battle. The flower symbolizes beauty and an artist is someone that is looking for beauty. This painting represents the pursuit of beauty in a world of battle. That’s how I presented it. I also add other animals that you no longer find in Haiti.
Do you consider yourself as one of the best Haitian painters? What would you recommend young artists?
No! I don’t. I stay humble but I know that I am a good one.
I would recommend the young to look for their own style and stop copying others. I would suggest them that every time they have the opportunity to create something its like a music they are composing. You are an artist and a creator. Look for a piece of paper when you have an idea and do a sketch. From there you look at colors that are your own. The colors express what you feel.
I personally always stay positive. You can see that my colors are happy colors even though there are dark clouds. Always be happy because God does not like to see people that are sad.
Instead of using drugs and alcohol, create something that will make you immortal. Either you write a book, a song or draw a painting you will become immortal. You will do something good for society. You leave your work behind. You show the future that we weren’t something. Maybe we were analphabet but we weren’t stupid. That’s the message we want to pass to future generations.
The Haitian people are very creative and what we create is ourselves. It is the best of us. We want the young to produce their own thing. We want our painting to stay ours, our music to stay ours and most importantly we want our culture to stay ours.
By Kevin Jiha at Expressions Galerie D’art
Pierre Louis Riche
Who are you?
Ever since I started painting in 1974, I have always lovedto paint. I believe that art can make you famous not only in your home countrybut also abroad.
Colors and drawings demand a lot of years to master. Youdon’t become a great artist in one day. It takes years of practice. I’ve beenpainting for 41 years and I haven’t achieved my goal yet.
I have a dream and my brush is the only thing that could turn that wishful thinking into a reality.
My dream is to rise above and go beyond the normal limits of art. I want to become renown globally.
Is there a painting that you like best?
Yes! I really love this “twoubadou” painting because it explains the Haitian life. It explains how we live in our country.
There is a girl with a banjo guitar that is in front of two guys. One of them is playing the flute, while the other one is playing the trumpet.
This painting represents the high unemployment rate we have in Haiti. To forget about our misery and pain we have to have to play music. The Haitian culture itself is like that.
Why do you depict people in large and exaggerated volume?
Some people ask me if it is because I have a large wife. But it is not because of that. It is not because I like large people better.
An artist, a poet, a musician create something that comes from their inspiration.
My imagination creates this world of large figures and people. The paintings turn my imagination into reality.
By Kevin Jiha at Expressions Galerie D’art