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25058: Shaw: Press Release: Art Exhibition by Haitian Artists Vladimir Cybil and Andre Juste (fwd)
From: kay shaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE POLITICS OF PARADISE: REINVENTING HAITIAN ART<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O NS =
An Exhibition of Mixed-Media Collaboration by
Artists Andre Juste and Vladimir Cybil
One Good Thing: Art and Soul Collectibles
367 Lenox Avenue (128th/129th)
Harlem, New York
May 15 - June 19, 2005
An opening reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, May 15, 2005, from 2pm to 5pm at One Good Thing, a
Harlem-based gallery presenting original artworks by artists of African descent. “The Politics of Paradise” explores
the visual idioms that are derived from the colorful, fantastic images associated with Haitian art and co-opts the
critical discourse stemming from its marketing practices.
Contact Kay Shaw, AmberImages (212-965-2271 or email@example.com)
on behalf of One Good Thing (646-342-7389 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANDRE JUSTE AND VLADIMIR CYBIL PRESENT THEIR FIRST Artistic Collaboration at One Good Thing
(New York, NY, May 3, 2005) The Harlem-based gallery, One Good Thing: Art and Soul Collectibles (OGT) will present
“The Politics of Paradise” from May 15 through June 19, 2005. An opening reception will be held on May 15 from 2pm to
5pm at the gallery located at 367 Lenox Avenue (between 128th and 129th). The first collaboration of Haitian artists
Andre Juste and Vladimir Cybil, the exhibition features mixed-media artworks that explore the aesthetic qualities
usually associated with Haitian art.
For years, Haitian-born Juste as well as Cybil, born in New York of Haitian parents, have mined Haitian art and
culture to explore themes from their multifaceted culture and have used modernist and postmodernist approaches to
reconstruct personal and cultural memory. Since the positive and negative aspects of Haitian art are inextricably
linked to its commercialization and marketing, for this show Juste and Cybil not only draw from the aesthetic
implications of this fact but also dispense with parody, deconstruction and irony in order to affirm the cultural and
Juste and Cybil employ stereotypical imagery (i.e., fruit baskets and market women) and iconic emblems (i.e., Jasmin
Joseph’s “Tree of Life,” or Hector Hyppolite’s well known profile of a nude figure, often associated with the Haitian
“spirit” Ezili) to create aesthetic "rituals" and affirmative statements that short-circuit whatever irony they start
out with. This is evident in the six sets of work in the show. For instance, “The Bounty-Full
Series,” is comprised of painted rolls of paper towels with images of market women, “tap tap” trucks and other
marketplace images; in the “Buy the Yard Series,” which is mounted on sculptural dispensers, bolts of painted canvases
are be sold by the yard; or in a series of small clear vinyl luggage that could stand for an artsy tourist's shopping
Each work in the exhibition explores some aspect of would-be cultural and aesthetic dichotomy with an overlay of the
market forces dominating Haitian life and art. For example, in "Tree of Life" from "The Bounty-Full Series," by
adding supermarket items such as ketchup and juice bottles alongside the exotic fruits in a would-be tree of paradise,
Juste and Cybil allude to Haiti as an economically subjugated dumping ground for foreign goods.
Both Cybil and I are "in a lot of ways profoundly connected to Haiti,” Juste states in an essay on the show. “But we
are abstract nationalists. We believe that we contribute to the sociopolitical struggles of Haiti more in subjective,
cultural forms.” Cybil herself has pointed out, “When one inhabits two worlds, one often simultaneously belongs to
both and none. I explore the space where different cultural traditions merge or intersect and the images of those of
us who live ‘between waters.’”
An alum of the Studio Museum artists-in-residence program, Vladimir Cybil has exhibited her paintings in several
venues abroad, including the VII Bienal de Cuenca in Ecuador, the Biennal del Caribe in Dominican Republic, the Bienal
de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe, and a solo show at the Galerie Bourbon-Lally in Haiti. She shows
regularly in New York. She earned a B.F.A. from Queens College, C.U.N.Y, and an M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts
in New York. In 1993, she completed a summer residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Andre Juste’s sculptural paintings have been exhibited widely in the U.S., including at the Orlando Museum of Art, the
Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, African
American Museum in Dallas, TX. He has also been in many group and solo shows in New York City and in Westchester
County, New York. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times (1998, 1993, 1991), The Washington Post (1997), The
Miami Herald (1995), Art News (1997, 1995) and Art Nexus (1995). In 1999, he contributed an essay entitled, “Haitian
Art: Responses to National Identity,” to the Encarta Africana CD-ROM encyclopedia edited by Henry Louis Gates and Dr.
Kwame Anthony Appiah. Juste earned a B.A. in English and an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College, C.U.N.Y. He has been
working on a collection of essays on Haitian art and artists.
ABOUT ONE GOOD THING
Founded in September 2000 by Sydney Kai Inis, One Good Thing: Art and Soul Collectibles (OGT) was created to introduce
fine art by acclaimed and emerging artists to the increasingly diverse Harlem community. OGT is unique in its
marketing goals and approach. The artists produce smaller-scale works that can be sold at affordable prices with the
aim of expanding the community of collectors of art by African Diaspora artists.
The gallery has exhibited solo shows by painters Al Loving, Nanette Carter, Manny Hughes, Alicia Henry, and ceramic
sculptor Sana Musasama, to name a few. This exhibition is OGT’s 21st show. Gallery hours are Thursday to Saturday
from 1pm to 7pm or by appointment (646-342-7389).
Contact: Kay Shaw, AmberImages, 212-965-2271 or email@example.com