Murat BrierreHaiti 1938-1988
Murat Brièrre studied both painting and drawing at the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince. He is better known, however, for his sculptures in metal. He learned this art form from studying with the master of Haitian metal sculpture, Georges Liautaud. Both Brièrre and his teacher were blacksmiths before becoming professional artists, which gave them a unique command of the materials. Brièrre's Deformation is most likely a play on ideas associated with Haitian vodou. Vodou practitioners believe that every human has two souls - the gros bon anj (big good angel) and the ti bon anj (small good angel). When one of the various lwa (spirits) possesses an individual, it must first drive out the gros bon anj. The spirit then rides the believer like a chwal (horse). Brièrre's sculpture could be a reference to the in between state, when the spirit has neither completely taken over, nor fully left the individual's body. Brièrre's teacher, Georges Liautuad, was very interested in this liminal state, and used it in his own works. This sculpture, however, may also be a simple comical depiction of a human mixed with a fantastical animal.
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