Art Presence

Artist Representation by Marie Baptistin

“It is important to acknowledge the powerful effects of art in reclaiming culture and sparking conversations and it is vital that we keep those conversations flowing.”

~Excerpt from: Under the Surface: Navigating through the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrie


I’m Marie Baptistin, a representative for Haitian artists seeking exhibition and sales opportunities in the United States. I am based in Brooklyn, New York.

My interest in Haitian art is not due to an instantaneous aesthetic intuition. I have bathed in an artistic ambiance for a long time in Haiti—even unbeknownst to me. For decades that sense never caught up with me, even when I was a tour guide for a prominent travel agency in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Background and Haitian Art Connections

As a tour guide for a prominent travel agency in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, galleries always featured in my tours and this is how my deep connection to the Haitian art community began. Usually on Friday, on a bus loaded with tourists from all over the world, we made our first stop at the gallery of Issah El Sayeh. He had a way with tourists and treated everyone with great humor and professionalism. He encouraged me to buy my first art piece, an illustration by Raoul Dupoux. Issah immigrated to Haiti from his beloved Palestine and made Haiti his home.

Other days, we visited galleries Nader, Monnin, and those in Jacmel, Cap Haitian, Petit-Goave, and the Iron Market. Nehemie Jean, also a great painter, always reminded me to stop at his gallery.

When on breaks, I visited the Café Terrasse, where Michelle Blaise or Jacques Sterlin took good care of my taste buds. Carol Theard was often present, bringing us joy and laughter. A few steps away was the gallery owned by Jean René Jerôme and his wife Mireille Perodin Jerôme, who always welcomed me when I stopped by to say hello. Frank Etienne and Herve Denis are always in great debate at the gallery’s entrance. Jean Rene made ashtrays that were iconic art pieces, and I bought many of them to offer to friends. I often visited Musart, managed by Reginald and Simone Cohen, where artists Patrick Vilaire and Gesner Armand had great artistic conversations. The iconic Claude Joachim lived right across the street. Bel-Air became a refuge for me. The artistic strength that emanated from that community was powerful.

In 2017, while mourning the loss of a loved one, I went to Haiti for two months. There I found myself in the company of two paintings, an illuminated mountain by Eric Phanord and a crowded marketplace scene by Jean B. Louisius. I looked at them for an entire month. It took me another year to inquire about them. Yet another door was about to open and, as that time became very difficult with violence, many artists flooded my gate.

When Covid-19 became the ultimate menace for the world, life stood still in Haiti. The painters did not know to which saints to pray. That changed my relationship from so far in the back row to barely in the middle. Now I can start a conversation about art. My focus was the artists living in Arcachon, Mariani, an art hub where they congregate at times—trying to catch them before they moved elsewhere. The reclusive Moleon Blaise, Andre and Maurice Blaise (not related), Rony Millien, Harry Zephirin, Emile Louisius, Jean B. Louisius, Madeleine Metellus, Jean Phillipe Lajeunesse, Jonas Profil, Darly Mentor, son of the late, great Louines Mentor, Philoges Chery, and Sonia Jean are always there to guide me with steady hands.

I recently spent a month in Verrettes, however, the artists in Petite Riviere were in a pickle and there was no way to reach out. It was an exodus in June 2023 where they were concerned. I sat still, bearing witness to the raging violence. People all around me were moving and I did not know when my time was going to be up. And yet, here I am, tip toeing in that field and I want to give it my best. That is the least I can do, and I can count on the help of  Edouard Duval-Carrie, David McCabbe, Eric Girault, Jean Eddy Saint-Paul, and Richard Barbot, as well as Cocotte, Patrick Cauvin, Roberto Gabriel, Johny Cineus, and Bengino, the talented son of the iconic Ernst Joseph of late.

I have a forthcoming show from September 15 to 26, 2023. If you are in the area and would like to see the show, come to:

540 President Street
Suite 1 A
Brooklyn, NY 11215

I hope to show the plight of the Haitian people exposed, like the lizard I saw under the sun in Solesmes, France.

I am also honored to have connections with Haitian Americans who are raising awareness and making a difference, including Carlos Bossard, Director of Programs and Museum Practice at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago.

Haitian American Museum of Chicago (HAMOC) logo / image link

Marie Baptistin, founder of Art Presence Artist Representation

Marie Baptistin, Artist Representative

The artist Bengino with art professor Killy Ganthier at the Center for the Arts.

Featured Artist

Andre Blaise

André Blaise is a Haitian Postwar & Contemporary artist, the youngest of the four Blaise brothers. They called him ti-André. All were internationally known artists and he grew up in the atelier behind Galerie Monnin on the Gran Rue. With Serge Moleon, he is one of the two who are still alive. The other two were the internationally known St. Louis Blaise, who died at age 38, and Fabolon Blaise, who passed at age 28.

André was born in Cap Haitien in January 1961. He does not know the date, according to the excellent book Artistes en Haiti, by Michele Grandjean.

His mother was a vendor of fruits and vegetables and his father was a mechanic and tax collector in the markets of LeCap. By the time he was 12, André was living in Carrefour, painting in the company of his famous brothers. In the Blaise atelier it was not uncommon for more than one brother to work on the same painting.

After experimenting with various styles, Andre seems to have settled on painting fish. He portrays them with human characteristics, great humor and the technical virtuosity that is characteristic of the Blaise family. He has two children and lives in Port-au-Prince. André has participated in many exhibitions in Haiti, France, and the United States. “Humanity is depicted in the form of a fish, and his works attest to Haitian lifestyles, embodied in fish-like subjects,” from Peintres Haitiens by Gérald Alexis. André Blaise’s references can be found in all significant Haitian art books.

Andre Blaise. Photo © Bill Bollendorf 2009

For more information about this artist and images of additional works I have available, please contact me using the form below.

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