“If art is what’s in your heart, then be an artist.” That is the mantra that our October Artist of the Month, Danipy Georges, lives by. That attitude has influenced him ever since he was a child. He grew up in the arts district of Jacmel, in the Rue Sainte Anne area, so he was always surrounded by an environment of art and creativity. He can remember as young as four-years-old, seeing other artists around the neighborhood working on paintings, and extravagant papier mache creations and he would start drawing pictures himself. As he grew, he knew that he was meant to be an artist and started to pursue opportunities to be trained and develop his skills. Although his parents may have encouraged him to explore more financially stable career paths, he looked around at what was happening in his country and decided that the best way to become a role model in society was through the arts.
He began his formal training in 2010 by enrolling in classes at the Alliance Francaise and then also at FOSAJ. Through his experience he began to learn more about contemporary Haitian artists and even got chances to work with and exhibit with such modern masters as Ronald Mevs and Killy. This influenced his own art in tremendous ways. He began to integrate these influences into his own unique style. It is a style that he know applies to working in multiple different mediums including painting, sculpture, and recycled assemblage. Every piece that he creates is inspired by the spiritual voice of Haiti and the culture of the African diaspora. He doesn’t always plan out an image before he approaches his canvas or surface but rather relies on revelations of a cosmic nature to guide the imagery as it emerges organically from within him. Much of his work utilizes recycled materials because he sees it as an artist’s responsibility to take trash that others have discarded as disposable and give it a new life and reinterpret its value. “Once someone throws something away that can’t be degraded, that pollution becomes part of our environment. It’s our job as artists to transform into something beautiful again.”
Danipy believes that artists exist to help orient others to the mysteries of life that are otherwise hard to understand. Art can provide others with clarity and open their eyes to perspectives that provide balance to life. His hope is that the rest of his country would start to understand the value of artists in this sense so that Haiti may one day reclaim it’s global reputation as a country of incomparable painters. He also hopes that they can develop more museums in the country, throughout all of the departments so that artists in every corner of the country can experience art of the highest quality and learn more about the legacy that they are part of as Haitian artists. At the Jacmel Arts Center, specifically, he hopes that it can continue on it’s trajectory of encouraging local artists and raising up the future generations. “I hope that some day I see my nieces and nephews come up through the education programs at SAJ and discover their own artistic voice.” He may be encouraging to his younger family members, but when asked what his parents think about his decision to be a professional artist these days he says that his mother still tells him to get a haircut, but she’s accepted that he’s doing what he was meant to be and even though life might not always be easy as an artist, he’s doing what he loves. We’re thrilled that he decided to stay right here with us in the same neighborhood he grew up in and proud to provide him a space to keep doing what he loves.