Hoppin’ John’s Galerie Henri Christophe
In reaction to the president’s disparaging remarks about citizens of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and in response to the desperate needs of the hurricane victims throughout the Caribbean, but especially in the US territory of Puerto Rico, I have decided to divest myself of much of my extensive collection of art from those regions.
20% of proceeds will go to Global Giving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund
Prices are negotiable, but buyer pays shipping and handling. Most items are framed paintings. Credit cards are accepted. Private viewings in Savannah are available by appointment. Serious inquiries only. You may email me or call me 10am- 4pm EST. See the Contact Me link on the home page.
Why Henri Christophe? In Savannah’s Franklin Square, on the west side of City Market, stands the Haitian Monument, celebrating the Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Dominique, a volunteer regiment made up of ten companies of light infantry (chasseurs) enlisted from “freemen of color.” It was the largest unit of men of African descent to fight and proudly participate in the American Revolutionary War in Savannah. In 1779, Saint-Domingue was an island colony of France. It is now divided into the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In September and October of the same year, these troops made up one-tenth of the allied army in the six-week siege of Savannah. The statue includes a small drummer boy named Henri Christophe, who later became a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, gaining independence from France in 1804.
Christophe is one of many Haitians who have contributed over the years to the welfare and richness of culture of the United States. From popular musicians such as Wyclef Jean and writers such as Edwidge Danticat to historical figures such as John James Audubon and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable (the founder of Chicago), Haitians and Haitian-Americans continue to enrich our lives.
Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the latter the worst in the island nation’s history. Five months after the storm, millions are still without power and the Trump administration has removed Puerto Rican families from temporary housing and FEMA has withdrawn its workers. Like Haiti, Puerto Rico has given us a wealth of talent. Hundreds of entertainers like Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Benicio del Toro, Rita Moreno, and Chita Rivera come to mind, as well as sports figures, ambassadors, architects, writers, military leaders, and four dozen NASA astronauts. Puerto Ricans are US citizens. We simply must help them.
The Art. Works by known artists are accompanied by brief bios. Some of the art was purchased from Jordan Meinster and John Burgess at Gallery West Indies in Charleston, SC. Some was purchased directly from the artists in the Dominican Republic, in Haiti, in Mexico, and in Africa. Many of the painting are in the original frames from the 1980s and show some wear. They are priced accordingly. The year of death is also noted in bold for the deceased painters. Most of the Haitian painters are considered Masters from the Saint Soleil school, including works by four of its founders. The known artists are listed below in alphabetical order. If the work is signed, l.r. indicates lower right, l.l. indicates lower left, u.l. indicates upper left, and l.m. indicates lower middle of the work. Following the work of these known painters, I offer some folk art from Mexico, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Zaire, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Bidó, Cándido, 1936-2011, Dominican Republic, the first Dominican painter to exhibit in France.
Bien-Aimé, Gabriel, born 1951, Haiti. Considered one of the two best Haitian metal sculptors, along with Serge Jolimeau. He never uses templates and does all his own drawings. His work is in major galleries,including the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Eliassaint, Françoise, born 1958, Haiti. Student of André Normil, whom she married. Joined Saint Soleil in 1982.
Exil, Levoy, born 1944, Haiti. One of the 2 surviving original Saint Soleil painters. Reorganized as Cinq Soleils Soleils with Prospère Pierre-Louis, Dieuseul Paul, Denis Smith, and Louisianne Saint Fleurant.
Félix, LaFortune, 1933-2016. Haiti. An initiated Houngan Voudou priest, LaFortune worked primarily as a farmer in St Marc, in the old and poor Artibonite region. He work was drawn from his belief in the supernatural. One of the last of the great painters from Artibonite, Félix is the subject of a documentary film by Arnold Antonin. All of his paintings are signed l.r.
Fortuné, Gérard, born 1925-1935, Haiti. Self-taught, but became one of the best known Haitian artists. He is also one of the oldest, in his 80s or 90s. He is not sure of his age. His older, larger paintings such as these are more valuable.
Garcia, Wifred. (Wifredo José Garcia Domenech) 1935-1988. Born in Barcelona, grew up in the Dominican Republic.Received a PhD in Chemistry at Kansas State University but worked as a photographer and founded the group Jueves 68 in Santiago as well as Fotogrupo in Santo Domingo. Known as the “Master of the Dominican Lens.” Internationally recognized with honors in Japan, the US, Europe, and Latin America. These photos have been reframed under glass. His signature appears on the original mats and the backs of the mounts, included. $150 each or $500 for all four.
Jolimeau, Serge, born 1952, Haiti. Along with Gabriel Bien-Aimé, he is one of the finest metal sculptors, using steel mostly from steel drums. Former President Bill Clinton is a client.
Meinster, Jordan. American, 1935-2013. Lived and painted in his home town of Philadelphia; in Puerto Rico, where he taught art; in Spain, and in Mexico. Widely exhibited, he was also a dealer of Caribbean art and owned Gallery West Indies in Charleston in the 1980s and early 90s.
Pierre, André, c. 1915-2005. A muse of the filmmaker Maya Deren, Pierre was second in command at his houmfour (a voodoo temple). World renowned, he is considered the best of the second generation of Haitian artists and the spiritual heir to the legendary Hector Hippolyte. This rare pair of his oil paintings on canvas, of the voodoo loa Couzine Zaka Mede and the ogun Achade, are being sold together. Each painting measures 8”x 10”, framed, 14”x 16” Both signed l.r. $8000 for the pair.
Pierre-Louis, Prospère, 1947-1996, original member of Saint Soleil, and of Cinq Soleils.
Richard, Antilhomme, 1920?-2002, Haiti. Early member of Saint Soleil, then later of Cinq Soleils. Did not paint from 1978, when Saint Soleil disbanded, to 1989.
Saint Fleurant, Louisianne, 1924-2005, Haiti, one of the original founders of the Saint Soleil school..
Smith, Denis, born 1954, Haiti. Youngest member of Saint Soleil and, along with Levoy Exil, one of the two surviving original members.
Valmidor, Antoinette. Older sister of Jacques and aunt of Frantzy. Known as “Josie,” she was the cook at the famous Issa Gallery in Port au Prince for over 30 years.
I am also selling some other artwork, but for Global Giving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, I am only offering work from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.
Vintage Mexican religious retablos on tin, SOLD. (9”x 12”and 9”x 13”)
Dan Mask, Liberia. Wood, twine, cloth, and cowrie shells. 12”x 20”x 6”. $175.
Firespitter mask, Ivory Coast. Wood, twine, cowrie shells. Overall, 36”. Crocodile head with horns, 19”. $300.
Nkisi fetish figure, East Congo/Zaire. Early 20th Century. Wood, mud, metal, paint, egg, cloth, glass. 25”x 13”x 8”, weighs 15 pounds. $750.
Wax batiks from Kenya, SOLD. Above, 16″x 30″. Right, 16″x 29″.
Left, painted wooden cross with voudou symbolism, Dominican Republic, 22″x 12″, $300.
Wrought iron roof cross by “Don Palo” Leopoldo Morales Martinez, the last of the traditional cross makers from San Christóbal de las Casas; Chiapas, Mexico. With traditional riveting. 13”x 19”. Includes the book, “Spirit of Chiapas: The Expressive Art of the Roof Cross Tradiation” (list price $35). $300.
Five views of a fine vintage Yoruba Gelede Headdress/Mask made from one solid piece of wood. Nigeria. 16″ x 14″. $800.
Vintage Ethiopian Head Rest(Pillow), wood and metal beads. 7″x 5″. $50.
Magpie, metal wire and beads, CapeTown, South Africa. 11”. $25.
Extra large Talavera bowl by Venegas, Puebla, Mexico. 16-1/2”diameter, 5”deep. SOLD.