Bigaud, Wilson

About the Artist

Wilson Biguad—Believed to have been born in 1931 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His family says he was 85 years old when he died in 2010. He was one of the last giants of the first generation of Haitian painters. Biguad delighted in festivals and carnivals full of action and color. His mastery of color and illusion of volume makes his paintings the essence of Haitian life. He is considered as one of the most remarkable primitivists of the Haitian School.

According to Selden Rodman, Haitian artist Wilson Bigaud “started painting as a teenager in the entourage of Hector Hyppolite. His early pictures included vadou , glimpses (not without a flavor of satire) into the domestic life of the elite, and crowded street scenes that had a wealth of carefully observed detail but were always well composed.” He met DeWitt Peters in 1946, joined the Centre d’Art, and was encouraged to paint. His customary themes were Haitian everyday life and Haitian vodou, represented with his very characteristic subtle colors and golden light. In 1951, he was one of the Haitian artists chosen to execute the landmark murals in the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinite, which tragically collapsed in the earthquake of January, 2010. He suffered from depression for much of his life, and after a severe mental breakdown, began to paint again, perhaps with less soul, but with a verve and dynamism that brought to life the joy and energy of his beloved Haitian culture. He was one of the great Haitian masters and his examples of Haitian artwork appear in museums worldwide. A renowned Haitian painter, he died in Petit Goave, Haiti, on March 22, 2010.

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