Artist Profile- Michee Ramil Remy
The work of Michee Ramil Remy is highly distinctive, recognizable, and sought after. Rightly, he has been the recipient of world-wide acclaim. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career in metal sculpting was his selection by former president Bill Clinton to create commemorative artworks for the Clinton Global Initiative’s Global Citizen Awards in 2009. It was a great honor, but only one among many of Michee’s considerable artistic achievements.
Beginning his tutelage under his step-father, Gabriel Bien-Aime at the age of 14, Michee blossomed artistically. He studied art and design in high school and his creativity was given ground to flourish. During these early years, Michee said he was visited again and again in his dreams by a shadowy figure who encouraged him and told him that it was his destiny to become a great artist. Optimistic, encouraged, and loaded with talent; Michee opened his own atelier in 1990 in Croix des Bouquets. By 1993, his distinctive style had begun to attract wide attention and he was invited to participate in the Haiti National Artists Exhibition. The following year, he attended the Smithsonian Institute International Festival as a guest artist, and beginning in 2009, he regularly participated in the prestigious Santa Fe International Folk Art Festival. In 2010, he and another artist, Serge Jolimeau were featured in an important exhibition at the North Miami Museum of Art, and later at the Clinton Library as part of a larger exhibition called, “Haiti – Building Back Better.”
Michee claimed his design ideas were always visions from his own dreams - dreams of mermaids, birds, angels, fishes, and gods. When he awoke, he hammered his visions into metal. At one point he said, “The mermaid is my favorite design. I can make them move and I find inspiration in the sculpture. Day by day, I try to promote my talents in offering designs to catch the eye. I work every day and it is a pleasure to me when I have a piece of metal in my hands.” His greatest works utilized the entire steel drum, which allowed him to, “express fully the visions in my head.”
Unfortunately, the work and the visions have been brought to an untimely end. After a long struggle with a myriad of health issues, Michee Ramil Remy died on March 11, 2012 at the age of 41. His memory and legacy will be carried on through his family, his village, and in museums and private collections throughout the world. The dreams, however, must find a new home.
Fair trade isn't just a good idea - its the way we do business.
We offer a hand up, not a hand out to our artist partners in Haiti. Each sale of their metal sculptures represents a positive step toward a better life.
The center of Haitian metal sculpture is the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, where the clanging sound of hammers striking chisels is a constant music. To begin, the artist chalks his design onto the metal. Chisels, dies and a large hammer are used to cut and shape the piece, giving it form and texture. When the highly intricate and physically demanding work is complete and the artist is satisfied with his work, he signs his name boldly with a small chisel and applies a clear, weather-proof coating. The result is a wonderful, fair trade piece of handcrafted art.
This metal sculpture is meant for display indoors or out, but if you choose to display yours outside, be aware that the protective, weather-proof coating will wear off over time. To keep your sculpture looking just like it did the day you bought it, take five minutes once a year to apply a spray-on clear enamel coating.
A few nails and a hammer are all you'll need to hang your sculpture. Look for a place where the design is joined or notched and put the first nail there. Use a second and possibly a third nail, if the piece is large, in other joined or notched design elements within the sculpture to straighten and secure it to the wall. The nails will "disappear" with the piece. Simple as that.
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