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Art Influenced by Haitian Culture

Exclusive interview with Phaidra McQueen Sterlin

Q : Who is Phaidra McQueen Sterlin?

A : I am a contemporary Haitian artist who appreciates her environment, which has a certain nostalgia for the time when I grew up. I analyze the reality of today.

Q : Do you draw inspiration to create?

A : My inspiration is 80% taken from the Haitian daily life: in the streets, the tires of a car that quite often leads to a political movement, artists, typically Haitian things that I break down and rebuild my way.

Q : What type of connection do you want to establish with the public with your works?

A : I would like above all for the public to see through my works. I hope in 20 years that we speak of it as being a famous work. Just like the image of the Shoe Shine's toolbox is a facet of the country's socio-economic situation, it's all a conflict and reflects daily life.

Q : Through your works, do we find emotion?

A : Of course. My works are full of emotions.

Q : Explain the concept of contradiction in your art to us.

A : Maybe I as an artist I am a contradiction. There is also a philanthropic part of me that is interested in this kind of concept.

Q : What benefit could Haiti bring to the international market through your work?

A : I would rather say collaborations between artists present the most beautiful facet of us. Our identity is Haitian, and the work is influenced by our culture.

Q : Why do you include the bamboo phenomenon in your paintings?

A : I thought that drawing an abstract could be interesting. I liked the idea, especially with the bamboo planting movement in Haiti. I have musician friends who play several instruments made from bamboo and I chose to paint in black and white. Besides, I like black because I think it's a soothing color.

Q : How much do your paintings cost?

A : Some cost $ 2,000, some $1,500, some $900. It varies. For the Haitian market, I lowered the rating (laughs).

Q : Do you have a special message to our readers?

A : Usually I'm not too generous with myself, but if I have to send a message to Haiti Polo readers, it’s to develop an appreciation of what belongs to us, what is home. Be proud of your culture; it is beautiful. It is an obligation!

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