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Haitian painter/designer Colette Brésilla discusses her work as a feminine artist

Colette Greenstein | 9/21/2017, 6 a.m.
The Haitian artist has created numerous thought-provoking, bold, provocative and colorful paintings. Her artwork has been showcased extensively in numerous ...
Colette Brésilla with “Maman Geisha I.” Courtesy Colette Brésilla

She recalls that, as a child, she often would see women walking in the Haitian mountains with a basket on their head and a pipe in their mouth. She didn’t consider this sight unusual, as she had great aunts who were pipe smokers. For Brésilla, the pipes represent the women’s voice. “It’s their mouthpiece,” she explained.

Brésilla believes that art “is a form of transformative healing,” and considers herself “a cultural worker for social change,” according to her website’s artist statement. She responds to the world around her by creating various forms of art, whether it’s in the form of mixed media sculptures such as “Ange/Angel” and “Les Jumelles/The Female Twins,” tapestries like “The Stitched Prayers’ Series,” abstract paintings such as the “Silent Warrior” or still life paintings like “Happy Bouquet.”

A self-described feminine artist whose work is always “reflecting women empowerment,” there is no retirement for Brésilla. With the current social and political climate in disarray, Brésilla knows that there’s much work to be done, especially with a man in the White House, whom she doesn’t address by name, who “disrespects women” and thinks “women are just like trash.”

Brésilla sums up by saying, “I’ve been fighting that for a long time and I will not stop fighting it until I die.”