Wilson Bigaud

Country: Haiti
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Excerpt from Haitian Arts:

After starting out as a sculptor in clay, in 1946 Bigaud was introduced to Dewitt Peters, who discouraged him from continuing in that medium, suggesting he turn his talents to painting. He enrolled at the Art Center and began to paint under the direction of Maurice Borno.

His canvas entitled Paradise won second prize at an international exhibiton in Washington in 1950 and is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the same year Bigaud painted his masterpiece, The Wedding at Cana. In 1951, he worked on the walls of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince.

This work demonstrated his customary themes: everyday life in Haiti, violence, color, the mysteries of voodoo, the rhythm of drums, all bathed in the golden light characteristic of his work.

In 1957, suffering from depression, he stopped painting almost entirely. From 1961 on, Wilson Bigaud retreated into family life in Petot-Goave, Haiti.

Dewill Peters said of Bigaud that he was obsessed by the fear of losing his gift, and several of his friends were convinced that he had made a pact with a houngan (voodoo priest) to preserve his talent. He is one of the major figures in Haitian Painting.

 

Red Snapper, 1954

Indian/Carnival, N.D.