Prefete DuffautHaiti b. 1923
Ville Imaginaire (Imaginary Town) 67.0007
Demonstrating an extraordinary imagination, Duffaut perhaps more than any other Haitian painter, paints the product of his dreams. His fantastic cities and boat-filled harbors, contiguous houses, churches, post offices, electric wires, and itinerant peasants are not of this world, but still manage to possess great innocence. His imaginary world may have come about because of a very unhappy childhood. Brought up by an unkind stepmother, Duffaut withdrew into himself and escaped into an imaginary world on paper. His drawings helped him overcome despair. By age twelve he worked as a shipwright like his father, crossing imposing mountains to get to the coast for work. One day he relates that the Virgin appeared to him, telling him to decorate the church walls in his hometown of Jacmel with her image. His murals there came to the attention of DeWitt Peters at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince who encouraged the artist to continue painting.
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