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Voices & Visions
Riboul Monfleury
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Riboul Monfleury (1970- )

I am Riboul Monfleury, son of Edgar Monfleury and Lucida Clairmont, born in Port-au-Prince (Petion-Ville). Since I was 6 years old, I loved drawing. I had a colleague in class called Kenny, he now lives in the United States. I lost track of him but I’m sure he would be proud to see where I am now.

I was sent to live with my aunt, because my mother became crazy and they committed her in a mental clinic. At 13 years of age I went to live with my father and step-mother. It was a very sad period of my life but the sense of art was always there. I come from a family of musicians-- some play the sax, guitar, etc. I love the guitar, and I’ve been trying to learn how to play for the past five years. My father tells me that the reason why I like the guitar so much is because my mother used to play too, and she would hold the guitar on her belly and play while she was pregnant with me.

When I was 13, I went to live with my father and step-mother; as I said, it was a terribly sad time for me. I had no affection whatsoever, I felt miserable to be separated from my mother, and I missed my aunt who had brought me up. I only had a few friends. I did some theater, but what I really loved was painting. I used to play football and I would paint on all the team’s t-shirts.

The first painter I saw in action was Ronald Mews, I had never seen someone paint before. One day I painted on one of my friend’s pants and he went to see a friend of his who had a kindergarten. My friend said that he was the one to paint it because he wanted to help me make some money. I was still in school and didn’t have much time to paint. They liked it and asked me to paint a mural.

Even when I was in school, I already had two children (now I have four). Although my father and mother-in-law were supporting me so I could continue studying, I felt I had a responsibility, to take care of my kids.

One day, I went to see a friend of my mother’s who loved her very much. I asked her for a job but she did not give me one. That day, my pride was hurt. And due to this pride, I started to paint at around nineteen-twenty years of age.

I love Picasso; I even named my only son Pikatson after him. I started painting landscapes but then decided to do something different. I took a book of medicine and started to deform the bodies. I spent three months with a painter called Casimir but one day I asked him to correct me and he answered me bad, so I felt deceived and decided to paint on my own. I dream to become a Picasso.

This is not my first experience in a workshop. I attended several workshops in France, in Amsterdam, in Martinique and the USA, but I’m glad and grateful that we now could have this kind of event (Atelier d’Art International) here in Haiti.

Translated by Marilou Roy







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