Don't hate Haitians


Henry Taylor is an African-American painter whose enigmatic works are structured around portraits of his patients (when he was a psychiatricnurse), his friends, family, neighbours, homeless people, drug addicts, beggars or victims of police violence and also of celebrities such as Serena Williams or Nick Drake, and even of members of the art world. Whether his subjects came from privileged backgrounds or not, they all received the same treatment: a thick and rapid touch, generally in bright colours. His work is strongly marked by his affiliation with the Los Angeles Black community, for whom he is a leading figure.

Taylor’s works are painted not only on very large format canvases, but also on cigarette packs or suitcases. His characters all have a familiar but at the same time foreign air about them. His paintings are not confined to just the depiction of the figure; like poems, they also suggest a whole narrative, a universe in which the social and political questions that affect the African-American community are raised. Taylor documents the life around him: “My paintings are what I see around me… they are my landscape paintings.”