While most of Haiti’s artists are represented in the rarefied air of Pétionville’s galleries, a collective of sculptors and installation artists produces spectacular work in an unlikely setting, squeezed into the cinder-block houses among mechanics and body workshops on Grand Rue. In this Caribbean junkyard gone cyberpunk, the artists turn scrap and found objects into startling Vodou sculpture, exploring a heady mix of spirit, sex and politics, all grounded in the preoccupations of daily Haitian life.
André Eugène is the founder and elder member, sculpting in wood, plastic and car parts to produce his vision of the lwa (Vodou spirits). Dolls’ heads and human skulls abound, alongside the earthy humor of highly phallic Gédé pieces. Jean Hérard Celeur, another of the artists, trained as a sculptor, and has done many of the largest pieces: life-sized statues of twisted wood and parts of car chassis, hubcaps, old shoes and a liberal application of twisted nails.
Local children are also involved in making art, through the spin-off organization Ti Moun Rezistans.
This hub of creativity is near Ciné Lido, set slightly back from the road. Look for the giant Gédé statue made from car parts and with a giant spring-loaded penis guarding the way. Just beyond this, Eugène’s house-museum is surrounded by statues, with the motto ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (‘from many, one’) hung over the door.