Haitian Metal Artists: Eugene Jacques and Carlo Brutus
Haitian metal artists are popularly known for producing beautiful art pieces such as three dimensional masks to wall hangings to jewelries – all made from used oil drums. Two of the many artisans from Croix des Bouquets known as the wholesale Haitian metal art capital of Port-au-Prince, Haiti - are Carlo Brutus and Eugene Jacques. Both Carlo and Eugene showcase their craftsmanship and artistry through their innovative artworks.
Carlo Brutus trained under Gary Darius and older brother, Jean Closter Brutus. He eventually opened his own workshop in 1994 so that he can produce his own works with his own style. Carlo’s primitive style of work reflects his reverence for Georges Liatud, whom he regarded as an important man in his memory. Today, Carlo’s designs are influenced by the natural world and mythical creatures. Apart from his genuine love for the work, he acknowledged the fact that it is his security as well, stating that he appreciate the job orders that he gets because it means a better life for them.
Eugene Jacques on the other hand was trained under well respected masters of steel craft in Croix-des-Bouquets. The exposure from the works of such amazing artists coupled with his innate artistic talent allowed Eugene to become the metal artist that he is now. His metal artworks are known not just for the unique style but for the accompanying story behind the art as well. Each of his art works bear personality and daring vision with many of them being one of kind pieces.
Haitian metal artists like Carlo and Eugene can also be regarded as an eco-artist producing green arts. They use their craftsmanship and artistry to participate in the fair trade to better their lives and support the environment as well by recycling used oil drums. Whenever these artisans opt to use old oil drums (which need to be imported into Haiti) instead of the cheaper and readily available steel sheets, they’re also choosing to protect the planet. Making use of the already existing materials, through recycling or upcyling, saves our environment from further depletion of natural resources.