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Voices & Visions
Mario Calixte
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Mario Calixte

My name is Mario Calixte, a Haitian artist who lives in Bel Aire. This is a popular neighborhood in Port au Prince. I studied painting twenty years ago. Before that I was in theatre. I studied at ENARTS (Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts) where I received my diploma. After some experience in dramatic arts, I changed to painting. I studied with very fine, experienced artists.

With the teaching of those artists, now I can talk about my own work, especially what I like to do with Promart’s contact. Promart is a new experience for me: (an international workshop) to meet artists from here and overseas where one can learn from each other. It is a new experience for all of us. We can help each other.

My own painting has two aspects. One is historical, and the other is imaginary people or everyday life. Prime is simplicity of the subject. My technique is collage. The material is gesso. I organize the surface with it, then after that, I work to build my subject on it. After that, I do graphics just to bring out the personage or images I have on the canvas.

Painting is, for me, my life. It is one of the greatest things I have ever done. In my neighborhood I have a lot of kids that I help with the ABC’s of painting, meaning the difference of the line, the light and the shades, color mixing, and even sports. They love it a lot and for myself it helps me do something very useful, something which will help them later in life.

I think that Haiti is a very rich country in the arts--painting, music, dance, theatre, design--and even in sports. The authorities should invest in the cultural events to help artists go forward. It would not be a bad investment. In the long run, the whole country would benefit from the results.






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