"SERENADE FOR A SEAMSTRESS"
OIL ON CANVAS, SIGNED
36 X 30 INCHES
Shubert Denis was born in Port-au-Prince. Having completed his primary education, he went on to complete his secondary studies at the "Lycee A. Petion". He began to paint with the legendary Haitian painter Ernst Louizor. It has been said that he was one of the best student that Louizor has ever produced apart from his Guerda Louizor.
Denis considers himself a self-taught artist, in spite of his sophisticated style and technique which echoes many American regionalist artists.
He has had his work exhibited in Holland, Germany, Venezuela, United States, and is galleries and private collections. He exhibited at the Queens Library with eight other Haitian artists, titled “Festival an Koulé” an Exhibit of Vibrant Haitian Art of Queens.
Denis illustrated a book of poems and stories “Downtown Brooklyn’ in 1999 published by Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York.
Denis collaborated in the publication Haitians d’Aujourd’hui “Haitian Artists in America”.
Denis exhibited in 1997 at New York’s Haitian-American Art Gallery, This comment was published about that exhibition, “Shubert Denis’s ‘The Barber,’ intense in imagery and exuberant in its colors, is a remarkable facsimile of an outdoor scene common to many other Caribbean territories.
From the Times Ledger, October 10, 2011:
Haitian painter makes art his own restaurant.
First and foremost, Shubert Denis, the owner of The Port-O-Prince Star Restaurant in Cambria Heights, is an accomplished painter. His paintings have hung in galleries and museums, but he loves the constant contact with the public owning a restaurant provides.
“I like to deal with the public and talk to the people,” he said. “I don’t feel that the people who come into the place are customers. They come in as friends.”
He opened the restaurant in 1989 and wanted a warm place where he could joke, talk and spend time with the people who stopped in to sit down or the majority who dropped by to take out one of the many traditional Haitian dishes.
Denis came to the United States in 1982 to visit New York City, its museums and galleries. He said he wanted to see what artists around the world were producing and to study the great painters like Pollack and Picasso.
Overcome by what he saw, Denis decided New York was where he needed to live and produce art. He said his move to the United States was all about art and had nothing to do with the political situation in his country.
“I was taken over by this feeling that I needed to stay and push my art,” he said. He said he wanted to see if he could take his art to another level.
Once he decided to stay in the United States, Denis found a place to live in Queens Village and got a job in a restaurant to support himself. Denis has only been back to Haiti a few times since he left, but he remains in constant contact with his brother and cousins who live on the troubled island.
Even though he spends a good part of his time at the restaurant, business, Denis paints five or six hours a day in his studio in the basement of his house. He is married to a Haitian woman he met in the United States and has a 15-year-old son and two girls, 11 and 7. Denis said all of his children draw and he is teaching them to use watercolors.