As Los Angeles’ premiere gallery of Haitian art, Galerie Lakaye, Gallery Director Carine Fabius has, for the 30 years she’s been in business, exhibited some of Haiti’s most astounding and thought-provoking art. Now, she’s added film writer and producer to her resume, producing an award-winning documentary called Out of Chaos, An Artist’s Journey in Haiti.
Since Haiti is one of the biggest sources for Black art in the world, BELLA spoke to her about showcasing her native country’s talented artists.
What was the impetus to open Galerie Lakaye?
My husband and I had gone to visit family in Haiti, and brought back lots of art. Afterwards, everyone started telling us that they wanted to give us money so that next time we traveled there, we could bring them back some art. So one day, I told my husband that maybe we should turn our house into a Haitian art gallery; and he said, “I was just thinking about that yesterday!” And here we are 30 years later. Galerie Lakaye actually means “the gallery from back home.”We’ve always seen clients by appointment. Now that Covid has leveled the playing field, all galleries are by appointment only.
Why did you decide to produce a film on Haiti at this time?
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti—whose 11-year anniversary we just commemorated in January—we wanted to see how the artists we’d been working with were faring. Haitian artists are no different from other artists in that they have a hard time making a living from their work. But many have the additional challenges of not having electricity and running water. Still, they get up everyday and make art anyway. Some of those works live in storied museum collections today. We wanted to show that just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you can’t make meaningful contributions to society.
What do you hope to show the world about Haiti?
When people hear “Haiti,” they think poverty, political instability, the earthquake, cholera, etc. We want to show the other side of Haiti – the one where an explosion of art can even come out of a slum. Art is everywhere in Haiti. With our film, which is being introduced into university curricula across the U.S., Haiti’s artists are the perfect medium for discussions around the relevant issues of our time—diversity in the arts, the role of art in a fractured society, art and religion, economic inequality, persistence, and resourcefulness in the face of unrelenting disadvantages.
To learn more about Carine Fabius, please visit:
The film website: http://outofchaosthemovie.com/
The gallery website: https://www.galerielakaye.com/
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