Art News

Haitian Artists Put Quake Scenes on Canvas

By: Pascal Fletcher

PORT-AU-PRINCE (REUTERS).- Before Haiti’s January 12 earthquake, painter Louis Saurel was depicting the colorful scenes of rural life that many tourists prized as souvenirs of their visit to the poor Caribbean country. Now he’s applying his artistic talents to capturing the horrific moment when the deadliest disaster in his country’s history turned his life — and those of hundreds of thousands of his compatriots — upside down. In a makeshift tent where he has lived with his wife and five children since their home crumbled to rubble in the quake, Saurel, 35, has started painting pictures of the devastation in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Using the same blazing colors and stylized depictions that have made Haitian art famous, Saurel and fellow painters in St. Pierre Square in the city’s hilly Petionville district are depicting the cracked buildings, jumbled rubble and shocked victims of the quake on canvas. “It’s a painful experience, but we artists ar