Philomé Obin

Audio: Nago , a vodou ritual percussion by MARTIN BROUSSALIS & JOSEPH SENATUS TI WOUJ (an excerpt from the Voodoo Tapes).
Boula / chant: Joseph Senatus Ti Wouj.
Premier tanbou: Martín Broussalis.

Recorded at Florida, Miami USA
Edited in WC recording studio, Buenos Aires - Argentina.


A video on Philomé Obin (Haiti 1892-1986).
May be one of the greatest haitian painters.
He received rudimentary instruction in drawing as a boy and produced his first known painting in 1908. He was still working at his art three-quarters of a century later.
Most of the paintings of Obin's first half-century—often on cardboard, sometimes on Masonite—are lost. They were, in any event, unappreciated by middle-class Haitians who preferred works that aped French paintings; they did not value Obin's representations of Haitian street scenes or his visions of Haitian history. The artist also painted murals and other decorative pieces for commercial establishments, fraternal organizations, and Protestant chapels in the beginning. Obin was a fervent Baptist, who did not find the practice of voodoo appealing. He had, however, flirt with occultism through the Freemasonry.
Philomé Obin sent Dewitt Peters, at the Centre d'Art, a small painting extolling U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for ending the 1915--34 American Occupation of Haiti. Peters immediately recognized Obin's genius.
The artist has painted a "kitschy bust of a blond [standing] on the balcony just outside the studio of his large, airy, and final home," it is simply to capture with his masterful strokes the "clients", as he liked to call Americans and others, who have visited him. Unfortunately, he did not paint Mrs. Jackie Onassis or President Léopold Sedar Senghor, or even Alfred Métraux, who paid him a visit in the late 1970s. Those who knew this artist very well, found him to be impenetrable, at times.
Sometimes called a "sophisticated naif," Philomé had an imperfect sense of perspective. If his use of perspective was often suspect, Obin's work was always enchanting . His allegories are potent and carry strong messages.
Although some people have qualified some of his works as "static," his craftsmanship is always delicate and precise, and the detail in his works is nothing but astonishing. He avoids the glare. His colors are muted, unlike those of most Haitian painters outside the northern part of the country.
In the north itself, Obin's influence was so powerful that subtle coloring is a leading characteristic in the works of hundreds of artists that he himself had trained and many others he hadn't. Among painters of the "Cap-Haitian school," his brother Sénèque (1896--1972) is also a major talent; several of Philomé's children like Antoine Obin, Télémaque Obin, grandchildren such as Claude Obin, Michaëlle Obin, Henry-Claude Obin, Harisson Obin, Donald Obin, and nephews and nieces are also accomplished painters.
The murals by Obin and other artists make Sainte Trinité—the Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince—one of the highlights of any visit to Haiti.
Works by Philomé Obin are sometimes available at galleries in Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo, Sotheby's in New York, and elsewhere throughout the world, including the Internet.
(edited from"