Thursday, December 28, 2017

New to Art Collecting? Concerned about the price of Fine Art? Consider Collecting Haitian Art

Holiday Sale Wilson Bigaud Painting

Several years ago, I published an article on collecting art and being consumer savvy smart about the process.  One of the segments of the art market that is undervalued and worthy of attention is Haitian art.  As an appraiser and art advisor, I'm approached by a fair number of people a week who are interested in selling Haitian art that they've collected or have inherited.  Thankfully, Haitian art has a foundation of art professionals -- that owners can navigate -- who support market activity including art historians (scholars & authenticators), auction houses, dealers/gallerists, appraisers, conservators, curators, artists, publishers/writers, and collectors.  Among a sea of market scenes and village life by unlisted artists, are these gems by Haitian masters, such as this example by Wilson Bigaud.  With an excellent provenance and a genre of work that doesn't come to market often, you have the opportunity to participate in the advocacy of Haitian art's legacy, -- which draws its origins from the era of the Haitian Revolution (1804) -- and start or add to your burgeoning art collection an artwork of aesthetic appeal with consumer confidence. 
Wilson Bigaud (Haitian, 1931-2010)
Untitled (Fish Lady), c. 1960s
Oil on board, 24 x 16 inches
Good condition, Framed
Artist signature (see below)
Private collection (FL); Acquired directly from the artist
Holiday Discount Price -- $ 2,300
CONTACT US: info[at]

Artist Biography. Wilson Bigaud (1931-2010) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After starting out as a sculptor in clay, in 1946 Bigaud was introduced to Dewitt Peters [founder of the Centre d'Art], who discouraged him from continuing in that medium, suggesting he turn his talents to painting. He enrolled at the Centre d'Art and began to paint under the direction of Maurice Borno. His canvas entitled "Paradise" won second prize at an International Exhibition in Washington in 1950 and is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the same year Bigaud painted his masterpiece, "The Wedding of Cana", the famous murals of the Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. Bigaud was able to establish convincingly the biblical story of the translation of water into wine in a wholly Haitian setting precisely because as a lifelong worshiper of loas he had witnessed such "miracles" during vodou ceremonies. The body of his work represents his customary themes: everyday life in Haiti, violence, color, the mysteries of vodou, all bathed in the golden light characteristic of his work.

Bigaud suffered from severe depression for most of his life, which caused him to cease painting almost entirely for many years. Dewitt Peters described Bigaud as "obsessed by the fear of losing his gift," and the artist's friends believed that he had made a pact with a houngan - a voodoo priest - to preserve his talent. Bigaud is without question one of the major figures of Haitian painting. (Source: )
Market Report. Untitled (Fish Lady) is an early example of this genre of painting produced by Bigaud. Through a collection of portraits that show a larger than life central figure, we see everyday people of small villages in their role as sellers of fish, chicken, fruit, and other home goods. As the figures dominate the picture frame we come to understand the individual's importance in the local community. Bigaud produced other portraits in the same style as the local vendors but featuring folkoric figures such as a mermaid, a nude figure in a garden, and village men at a poker game. Untitled (Fish Lady) ranks as a superior quality because of its high quality craftsmanship, coherent design, condition, medium, and provenance.
Private dealers are the best market for the sale of Haitian Art, an undervalued segment of the global art market. Dealers of Haitian Art are found in the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. Asking prices for comparable works at private dealers range from 2,800 - 6,000 USD.
Wilson Bigaud's work is also sold on the secondary market. According to auction records on, Bigaud sells more oil paintings than acrylic, or tempera. Sixty-seven percent of Bigaud's lots on the auction market are sold. Over the last ten years, his highest total USD in sales/year occurred in 2015, 2012, and 2011. Here are a few examples of recent auction sales for Wilson Bigaud:
*Marriage at Cana sold at Material Culture, November 29, 2015, 4,062.50 USD
(with buyer's premium);
*Village Cemetery sold at Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches, November 23, 2015, 
7,995 USD (with buyer's premium); and
*La Revelation Rara, 1956 sold at Christies, February 28, 2012, for 6,250 USD (with buyer's

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Look at the African American Art Market

This is a thoughtful commentary on the African American Art Market by art appraiser and advisor, Dr. Halima Taha.  The interview was conducted by Black Art in America's Najee Dorsey.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sam Gilliam's "Rays" Sells at Sotheby's for 684.5 million USD

Estimated for 100,000 -  150,000 USD, Sam Gilliam's Rays, sold at Sotheby's Contemporary Curated sale (9/27/17) for 684.5 million USD. 

The acrylic on canvas work which measures 48 x 78 x 2 inches, and was produced in 1971.