Steel Drum Guitarist Haitian Metal Sculpture by Garry Pierre
Steel Drum Guitarist Haitian Metal Sculpture by Pierre Garry

Steel Drum Guitarist Haitian Metal Sculpture by Garry Pierre

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Unlike the vast majority of steel drum art from Haiti, this piece by Garry Pierre is a free-standing sculpture rather than a piece that is meant to be hung on the wall. The theme of this sculpture is also a departure from the more usual ones of nature, vodou and folklore. Pun intended, this is a true steel guitar. The tall guitarist is barefoot, wearing a flowered shirt and seamed trousers and a big smile.

Garry Pierre has been creating his art in the village of Noailles, the center of Haitian iron art, since 1980. He is exceptionally talented and has mentored many of the younger artists who have learned to turn steel drums into art. He signed the top of the round base "Pierre Garry" (last name first).

Fer découpé (French for iron cut out) Haitian artwork is created from steel petrochemical drums that are cleaned and pounded flat. It started in the 1950's, inspired by the lack of funds for traditional art materials. After drawing the designs on the metal, the bòsmetal (bosses of the metal/metal sculptors) cut them out with hammers and chisels, punch tools and nails. On this sculpture, the individual pieces have been riveted together. The color of the steel has darkened a bit and is not the shiny new color of many other examples.

This piece is 16 1/2 inches tall, stands on a 4 1/4 inch diameter base and weighs about 12 ounces. It's in excellent condition and very cool.

© Linda Henrich

PYH 4384

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