He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in January 1928. At age 18, he met Dewitt Peters and joined the Centre d’Art. In 1950 his painting, “Paradise”, won second prize in an international art exhibit in Washington, D.C. and was subsequently purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York along with works by Gourgue, Philome Obin and Georges Liautaud.
In 1951 he was one of the handful of artists chosen to execute the landmark murals in the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinite . His masterpiece there is “Wedding at Cana”.
Bigaud was able to establish convincingly the biblical story of the translation of water into wine in a wholly Haitian setting precisely because as a lifelong worshiper of loas he had witnessed such “miracles” during voudou ceremonies. The body of his work represents his customary themes: everyday life in Haiti, violence, color, the mysteries of vodou, all bathed in the golden light characteristic of his work.
Bigaud suffered from severe depression for most of his life, which caused him to cease painting almost entirely for many years. Some say that he has never regained his early brilliance but there are few artists in Haiti or anywhere else who are as able to communicate the subtleties of their culture with brush on canvas. Dewitt Peters, founder of the Centre d’Art, described Bigaud as “obsessed by the fear of losing his gift” and the artist’s friends believed that he had made a pact with a houngan – a voodoo priest – to preserve his talent.
Wilson Bigaud continued to paint wonderful, humorous paintings in the relative solitude of Petit Goave until he passed away in 2010. He is without question one of the major figures of Haitian painting.
source: Indigo Arts, Wikipedia, egallery