Dominique Domercant



We started with a few paintings on consignment, 25 artists at the time, including Michèle Manuel, Enel Désir, Claude Dambreville, JE Gourgue, Reynold Joseph, Luckner Lazarre, Pierre-Louis Richéand others, recalls Habib Jiha, who today has nearly a hundred exhibiting artists, benefiting from the transactions of his clientele. Space of diversity Solving the problem of rent and having a more spacious space are among the two reasons that led the owner of the gallery to leave rue Clerveau over the years to settle at number 55 rue Métellus. Paintings, frames, sculptures, art books, restoration of works and advice to artists are among the products and cultural services provided by this twenty-year-old institution. “You have to love it to do it; you have to be understanding and know how to make donations, have ideas, be open to criticism,” explains the entrepreneur. We do not choose the paintings for the subjects they offer, but for the talent, the quality and techniques of the works. We open our doors to all subjects. The variety is there, rejoices Mr. Jiha, who has already exhibited in his gallery the paintings of the current mayor of Pétion-Ville, Claire Lydie Parent, in 2009, and those of Michael Heckert, a German artist, and organized an exhibition of paintings by Michèle Manuel, at the premises of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington. Pictorial exclusivity Several hundred paintings, very few sculptures, can be observed between the walls that support the plastic visions materialized by our visual artists. “I also do frames that are different. I go to framing fairs to meet the needs of the clientele,” says the businessman, who informs us that he has been to Las Vegas to stock up on original products. Only the sculptures of masters such as Ludovic Booz, Philippe Dodard and Laraque, will benefit from a place within the confines of the exhibition halls managed by the businessman, who wants to avoid falling into confusion of the supports and materials used. to give substance to these three-dimensional works. Exhibit, at what cost? As soon as you have talent, you have a vision, you master the brushes, you know how to play with colors, the picture rails are waiting for paintings, painters from the country, suggests the cultural entrepreneur, who specifies that in December, we are more motivated for exhibitions; but for art, there is no season. It doesn’t take a day to create, he adds. Here is the house of artists! Nevertheless they can propose works and I refuse. You have to tell them the truth to help them progress, believes Mr. Jiha, who assures that collaboration with artists is not limited only to exhibitions. Sometimes, we represent the latter, for the most valuable, with organizations. We frame them. Gender equity and renewal It is recognized that some artists are almost no longer dependent on the gallery, given their rise and their professional autonomy. Masters like Jean-Claude Legagneur, Lyonel Laurenceau and even Michèle Manuel have been exhibiting exclusively at Expressions for some time, explains the gallery owner. However, it is recognized that young painters, and women painters as well, are very little represented in this area of ​​talent promotion. Vanessa Craan and Magda Magloire (the daughter of the late Louisianne Saint-Fleurant), are the only two young female painters who exhibit alongside works by her mother, Luce Turnier, Rose-Marie Desruisseau, Elzire Malebranche, Tamara Baussan, for the vast majority deceased or retired! A painting which presents much more of a museum tendency and which at the same time challenges the girls of the country, still sensitive to painting, to take charge of their brushes! Supervision of artists Mr. Jiha recognizes the complexity of managing artists, given their character, their strong emotion, the environment. A situation that has become more difficult after the earthquake, because many painters have lost their homes and studios. So they no longer have a frame or an atmosphere to paint night and day. The lack of social security for artists pushes the gallery to find external means, coming from private funds to support some of them who face situations of illness or death, informs the cultural operator. “Customer confidence, the choice of quality works and payment methods” are among the advantages offered to “Expressions art gallery” customers.