Haiti’s rich tradition of expressive, colorful paintings (like this one) is well known. So too are the wildly creative metal masterpieces produced in the non-stop artists’ commune of Noailles. Decorative pieces like these enliven any living space, providing warm reminders of a very special country.
On my most recent trips to Haiti, though, I’ve become more enamored with the incredible functional art produced here, the chandelier above among my favorite examples.
I found it in “The Great Room,” a modish lounge set within the lobby of The Marriott Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s newest and nicest hotel.
The Great Room is one of the primary places to see and be seen in Port-au-Prince. Business alliances are made here, political deals no doubt brokered. Image and fashion are important here; you don’t see people lazing about looking ragga.
That the elegant chandelier that crowns the space so perfectly reflects the Great Room’s high style is somewhat surprising, though, when you consider that one of the primary materials used to make ’em are cow horns. Paired with crystals and wrought iron, they are a stunning testament to Haitian artistic ingenuity.
The creative person behind the lights is celebrated Haitian artist Karine “Cookie” Villard. If you’re friends with Donna Karan or happen to frequent tony boutiques in Sag Harbour like Urban Zen, then you may have seen Cookie’s work before.
If you don’t move around in such circles, though, you can always marvel at this fabulous and functional art piece at The Marriott Port-au-Prince. Just make sure you dress on-point for the artful surroundings…