By Rachele Viard
Ceramist, and painter, utilizes his artistry to illustrate his country’s rich culture. He grew up in the arts, and states as far back as he can remember he has had creative tendencies which led him to follow his passion of the arts.
Mabour has two mediums that he utilizes most, acrylics and clay.
“I have not mixed the two yet, but I use each to make mixed media art,” he said. In his pieces, often acrylic paints are mixed with the textures of different cloths like burlap t-shirt cotton, and he sculpts images with a gel media to make his paintings.
“When it comes to my ceramics and sculptures, I enjoy hand-forming the clay, adding texture with different tools, and of course adding color and depth glaze,” he adds.
His work, best described as abstract and emotive, is impressive, captivating, and packed with symbolism from the mysticism of the Haitian traditions. His choice of color not only reinforces the message he is trying to convey through his work, it brings it to life.
Mabour’s Haitian heritage plays a substantial role in his art. Haitian Culture, the socio-political and spiritual facets of the culture are key components of his inspiration.
“The different traditions and ceremonies are intriguing to me, I am especially drawn to the spiritual aspects of my country’s culture as well,” he said. “There are so many stories and ideas to explore there. These ideas illicit an explosion of colors and images in my brain and I feel compelled to create my art to represent my research and interpretation of those ideas.”
As a youngster, Mabour developed an interest in the arts. He spent much of his time at Serge Gay Pottery, a ceramic atelier close to his home in Haiti. It was there he learned the dynamics of ceramics and pottery and developed his skills, which stimulated his interests during his transformative years. His formal training took place at Ecole Nationale des Arts (ENARTS) from 1983 to 1988. There, he honed his skills as an artist. He learned new techniques in sculpture, ceramics and pottery. While enrolled there, he learned how to express himself using clay.
ENARTS holds a special place in his heart, for when asked about his proudest moment, or fondest memory to date as an artist, Mabour shares his matriculation at ENARTS was exceptional.
“I had some professors that changed me as an artist and helped me solidify my stance as well as open my mind in regard to art in general and my own art in particular. I learned to appreciate art in Philippe Lerebours’ course, and also explored art history and aesthetics. I also took courses taught by professors such as Dieundonne Cedor’s, Burton Chenet’s, and Luckner Lazard. Their courses were vastly different and the challenge of exploring the different styles and artist ideologies helped me develop as an artist and laid the groundwork for my current artistic ideas. I am still impacted by that education and I am greatly influenced by those distinguished professors,” he states. He so thoroughly enjoyed his experience at ENARTS that he also taught at the school for a time.
Given his artistic stance, Roland Dorcely and Frankétienne are two of his favorite artists.
In 1999, Mabour immigrated to the USA, and now resides in Florida and continues to create poignant works of art in his Boynton Beach studio, where he has recently began working on poetry, it is a field that is new to him. He is slowly navigating different techniques to better understand that form of art.
His pieces have been showcased at ENARTS, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Espace Brandt, the Latin American Art Museum, Cornell Museum of Art at Old School Square, just to name a few. He has also been featured in the Boca Raton Magazine, Haitian Art in the Diaspora as well as the Quarterly Review.
If you’d like to browse through more of Garry Mabour work, and keep up with the latest of his endeavors follow his Instagram page @garrymabour_art.