Tiga (B. 1935 - D. 2006)

Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Tiga's real name, Jean-Claude Garoute, was born in Port-au-Prince on December 9, 1935. At the age of twelve, he entered the «Centre d 'Art » where is first teacher was Luce Ternier.

Around 1950, he started to learn the ceramics technique...and in 1958 he became Director of the Ceramics Center at the National Education Ministry, and a year later, became the founder of the Ceramics Museum (1959)

In 1965, he got involved with the Foundation of « Calfou », and then, together with followers and friends, Tiga undertook his research on the foundations of an Haïtian aesthetic. As he often liked to mention it: « In Haïti, culture is still alive...I found art at the school of my people »

He decorated the Haïti Pavillion at the first « Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres » in Dakar, Senegal (1966) ; in 1968 will follow the creation of the Cultural Center « Poto Mitan », in Port-au-Prince

For this relentless artist, 1972 stands as the beginning of an extraordinary experience of popular art represented by the « Ecole du Soleil » (Sun School); the two visits in Haïti by famous writer and political figure André Malraux led the frenchman to witness by himself this unique experience in universal art, and the chapter he wrote in his last book: « L'Intemporel » suddenly pushed forward this group of peasants-painters on the world's contemporary art scene.

After a stay in Denmark, then in California (1983-1984), Tiga returned to Haïti and develops his own technique of painting, the Soleil-Brûlé (Burned by the Sun).

In 1988, opening of the cultural center « Kaytiga » hosting the Soleil-School and where the exhibitions by Saint-Soleil artists will be taking place.

For Tiga, solo and group exhibitions followed in Haïti, United States, France, and the Biennale of Santo-Domingo in the Dominican Republic, where he got awarded a gold medal.

In 1995, he inaugurated the Saint-Soleil Exhibition Tour in Belgium and had a solo show in Gothenburg, Sweden (July 1996) – Solo show at the Galerie Marc Dengis in Brussels (1999).