Serge Jolimeau (Haitian, born 1952)
Untitled (folk art)
Repurposed cut and stamped metal
Signature incised to woman’s arm
Haitian metal art is crafted by hand using recycled steel shipping drums. The drums are first burned removing any residual paint or residue, then flattened creating rectangular sheets of metal. The artist then crafts their work by hand, cutting, punching, hammering, and shaping the metal into the desired forms. The imagery is often inspired by Haitian Vodou (voodoo) practices and beliefs, as well as featuring nature and animal motifs. The art of Haitian Vodou combines elements from its West African roots with the iconography of Catholicism and with modern heroes and traditions. For instance, the loa (Vodou divinity) Erzulie Freda is often portrayed similarly to the Virgin Mary as “Our Lady of Sorrows” and the loa Ogoun shares traits with St. James.
The artwork was first developed in the village of Croix-de-Bouquets in the 1950s by blacksmith Georges Liautaud. Known as the “father” of the craft, he began by making crosses for the local cemetery using recycled metal from steel drums. He was encouraged to expand into sculpture by DeWitt Peters and Antonio Joseph, artists and founders of Le Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince. His figural works gained local and international acclaim, and in time Haitian artists began to travel to Croix-des-Bouquets to apprentice with Liautaud and to set up their own workshops.
Serge Jolimeau was born in Croix-des-Bouquets in 1952 and apprenticed with Seresier Louis-Juste, joining the Centre d’Art, Haiti, in 1972. There he met his mentor Murat Brierre. Jolimeau stands out as one of the most gifted Haitian sculptors of his generation, creating complex compositions that are often lace-like in their intricacy. He has been exhibiting his work internationally since 1979, was among the artists chosen by Bill Clinton to create works for the Clinton Global Citizen Awards, and has been a regular exhibitor at the the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market since 2005.
- minor abrasions and surface wear.