We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivier Ganthier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivier, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose an artistic career because first and foremost I love it. Art is a universal language, it can speak to anyone without a barrier. Because of this, I felt that I could use my artistic expression and my creativity to impact the world in my own way. I always feel that we artists have the power to affect, inspire and influence people in any society. One of the things I appreciate the most about art is that it can alter moods. It’s like, a contagious smile, but in a painting that will keep smiling forever, reminding you to cultivate good vibes. Even if you woke up unhappy, seeing a painting can change your mood and help you have a better day. With art, I’d like to impact the world, bring peace, love, and positivity. I also want to do more to inspire the youth to dream – or dream bigger. Coming from Haiti, we face different obstacles, but we still make dreams happen.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I paint what I feel. I love using everything around me as inspiration – the tropical atmosphere, urban life, culture. I like using bright colors, they relay my message of positivity, success, fun, peace, love, and happiness best. I also incorporate Afro-pop characters and doodles – a way to include more Black representation of different forms in contemporary art, which is often missing. I love showcasing Haitian culture to the world. As rich and powerful as our culture is, most of the time the media only shows bad sides of Haiti without showing its beauty.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to to little Haiti first. In the morning, get some fresh bread at Piman bouk. Then get some good Haitian food, there are so many good places, Naomi’s garden, chef creole, Ba’Hait (Caribbean Pot), Manjay, Piman bouk, La belle Jacmelienne. Each of them has their own specialty. I’d show them around the cultural community. The little Haiti cultural center has music, dance, vendors etc. I’d show them street art, murals, and some art galleries as well. We’d see the design district, wynwood arts district, then south beach, to get some fun in the sun, and also peaceful places like botanical gardens. I would take them on a quick trip to Cap Haitien, in the north of Haiti, to check out beautiful beaches, and visit cultural places like Citadelle Laferriere, then show my street art in town and head down to Petionville, to hit up some local parties. Finally, we’d head back to Miami and end the week , having fun at clubs in Wynwood and Miami beach on the music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To start, I am grateful for my art family, they’ve been supporting me since the beginning, especially my dad, who has introduced me to the arts as a kid. Later, I met different mentors, including professors at ENARTS. Big shoutout to the internet for everything it has taught me, all my other mentors in illustration, digital art and graffiti outside of art school.
Picture 1 Credits: Jean Robert Duprat (Roroli Studio Photography) All other pictures copyright Olivier Ganthier