Prefete Duffaut, Haitian (1923 - )

 

Duffaut, born January 1923 in the southwestern coastal city of Jacmel, drew as a hobby in his childhood. While helping his father, a boat builder, he was asked one day to draw a fresco in the church of Notre Dame de Lourdes, located in La Gonave, a small island off of Haiti's western coast. His fresco became the talk of the town. Before leaving his native town and heading for the capital, he made a wish and asked Notre Dame de Lourdes, (Our Lady of Lourdes) to help him succeed in whatever he would undertake.

His wish came true. While in Port-au-Prince in 1944., he was contacted by some journalist who introduced him to Dewitt Peters and Rigaud Benoit, the founders of the Centre d' Art, who later on became his advisors. Between 1950 and 1951, he painted Temptation of our Lord and Procession Murals in the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, also in Port-au-Prince. A "naive" artist, he painted imaginary cities with tiny people crowding the street.
The famous artist describes in his paintings the relationship between earth, space and water. This fantastic configuration dotted with tiny rows of houses zigzagging along mountains and seashores carries meanings which are related to the personal beliefs and his ancestral religion. The enclosures showing the earth are set against areas of intensive blue depicting sky and water.

Duffaut's paintings display geometric and intricate linear designs. His colors, vivid and intense contrast with clear blue backgrounds which further emphasize the tiny dots of orange, red and yellow, sprinkled throughout the composition.



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