Divine Revolution: The Art of Edouard Duval-Carri
Author: Donald J. Cosentino (Professor Culture and Performance, World Arts and Cultures, UCLA)
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009
Born in Port-au-Prince in 1954, Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié spent his late childhood years in Puerto Rico, where his family had fled to avoid the oppressive Duvalier regime. Following studies in Canada and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he moved to Miami where he continues to live and work. Divine Revolution presents sequined banners, canvases with ornate frames, and a dramatic altar, all demonstrating the profound influence on Duval-Carrié of Vodou and Haiti’s complex cultural and political history. These works range in subject matter from celebrations and chronicles of the Haitian Revolution to examinations of the current plight of Haiti and its people.
Duval-Carrié’s art reveals a side of Haitian experience that is not evident on the nightly news. The surreal starlit journeys of the Vodou deities and spirits who populate his paintings, juxtaposed with his carnivalesque portrayals of oppressive colonial and contemporary regimes, offer insight into the paradoxes of Haitian existence and the ambivalent nature of power itself, as well as a vision of the integrity of Haiti's ritual and spiritual practices.