Gabriel Bien-AimeHaiti b. 1951
Gabriel Bien-Aimé became a well-known artist beginning in the 1980s. Born in the small town of Croix-des-Bouquets, he first learned to sculpt metal by studying with local artist Janvier LouisJuste. Although Bien-Aimé would eventually develop his own style, he always remained one of the famous sculptors that came from that area of Haiti, alongside the four LouisJuste brothers, and the "father of metal sculpture" Georges Liautaud. Bien-Aimé often uses biblical and vodou themes in his work, combining them with his playful sense of humor. Although this sculpture does not deal with the lwa (vodou spirits) directly, it makes reference to them. The trumpet is most often associated with Lasirèn, the mermaid spirit, and the snake at the bottom may symbolize Danbala, the serpent deity. These female musicians each hold an ason or sacred rattle. Bien-Aimé's inclusion of both horns and wings may allude to the combination of vodou with other religions in that the lwa are also often referred to as both zanj (angels) and diab (devils).
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