Rémy de Haenen Pique Nique a Gouverneur, 2022, Oil on canvas (110 x 90 cm / 43.31 x 35.43 in)
The De Haenen name is well known on the island of St Barth. Remy Sr had a big hand to play in the St Barth we know and love today - with many firsts under his hat. To name a few - the first to land a plane on island (boldly using the grassy strip next to St Jean bay for an impromptu landing), the first Mayor of the island, the first owner of the Eden Rock where many stories and guests from that era made history. Remy JR shares his father's adventurous spirit. Full of life and curiosity and at 72 years young, the younger Remy is an aviator, engineer and a talented and avid artist.
Remy Jr was born in Martinique, which he called home, along with St Barth, until he was 17 years old. Descendant of a family that arrived in the islands centuries ago, his childhood was deeply marked and influenced by the cultural diversity, freedom, colors, sea, sky and creatures of the Islands, in particular St Barth and his family's long legacy there. He moved to Paris to study, and then to New York City in the 1960s, where he attended New York University and the Art Student League. There he had the opportunity to meet Salvador Dalí and other artists linked to the work of Andy Warhol which stimulated his inner artist. Today he lives and works in Argentina, and in recent years has developed a more formal approach to his artistic search, always guided by the memories and influences of the islands where he spent his youth.
This season, Remy's new collection of paintings titled "Caraibe: Life and Love in the Islands" will be on view at Space Gallery St Barth in the Carré d'Or, Gustavia. De Haenen's works are composed of imagined scenes related to his memories, the islands, nature, pastimes and the contrast between childhood recollections and adult life. There is an emotional communion between the people, the air, the clouds, the sea, the colors, the tropics that occupy space and time in his works.
"In my works I stick to the idea that color and painting form a language that can speak to the mind, the body and to the hidden magical mysteries of Caribbean souls. Color is fundamental to understanding Caribbean spirits. It is everywhere when you set a foot in the islands. It has magic (sometimes elusive) and provokes the eye and body as if it were a material substance." - Rémy de Haenen
Color is indeed central to this series. Beach scenes and island life are depicted saturated in block color giving the pieces a Wesselman-esque identity. De Haenen uses the centrality of the female body and the advertising aesthetics of Pop Art to express the sensuality of these scenes as relaxed snapshots. They also are a gesture of love for his homeland and a longing for the persistence of the Caribbean identity, its magic, its myths and its history, of which he and his family were the protagonists.
Rémy de Haenen Les Trois Regards, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Anette de Corossol, 2022, Oil on canvas (39.37 x 39.37 in / 100 x 100 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Atterrissage Aeroport de St Barth-Remy de Haenen, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen L'epouse, de retoure de la citerne de Flamands, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen ER (Eden Rock), 2022 Oil on canvas (46.06 x 59.06 in / 117 x 150 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Doris a St Jean, 2022, Oil on canvas (40.94 x 48.82 in / 104 x 124 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Juliette de Martinique, 2022, Oil on canvas (39.37 x 39.37 in / 100 x 100 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Les Cocotiers, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Gommier a St Jean, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Mon Ami Constant, charpentier, Maçon.., Il savait tout faire, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Cacoye, coulirous a Flamands, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 47.24 in / 120 x 120 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Miss Arlette, 2022, Oil on canvas (47.24 x 39.37 in / 120 x 100 cm)
Rémy de Haenen Il Y Avait Une Fois, 2022, Oil on canvas (51.18 x 51.18 in / 130 x 130 cm)