Titi de Baccarat
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Titi de Baccarat is a multidisciplinary African artist, at once painter, sculptor, jeweler, clothing designer, writer, activist and more. His authentic style is based on the use of heterogeneous materials which gives his works the ability to provoke both questions and emotions. He firmly believes that whatever form it takes and whatever functions it may have, the primary essence of art is to awaken human consciousness and harmonize the functioning of psychic faculties so that the human being can thrive, overcome the normal stresses of life, perform productive work and contribute to the life of their community”.
The Gifts and Beliefs
The effervescence of imagination and creativity that he received as a gift at birth and the metaphysical knowledge of the tradition of the Bantu ethnic group that he learned rigorously from his parents from an early age enabled him to have a completely different approach and definition of art and its function. This knowledge was reinforced in a religious way when for a particular reason he went to one of the forests in northern Gabon where he spent 6 months in the presence of pygmies. Art is a being; He says with conviction. Art is the stranger who comes to visit us. Except that this stranger who comes to visit us is invisible. Imagine that an invisible stranger comes to visit you, how do you know he is coming? How do you know he’s there? How do you identify him? How do you communicate with him?
Home and Production
In Gabon, the paintings of Titi de Baccarat tell the story of the continent. He channeled his experiences of democracy, promoting a culture of peace and solidarity between communities and denouncing armed conflicts and wars that have claimed the lives of millions of people in Africa. His collection of ethnic jewelry, made with various materials – leather, wood and assorted metals – celebrates the beauty and courage of peoples in their quest for liberation. His collection of clothing for men and women, inspired by the concept of Siamese twins, consists of 27 models focused on solidarity and humanism. His essay entitled ”Ancestral sexuality in the forest of bees” is a collection of erotic proverbs inspired by his six-month stay with the Baka in the forests of northern Gabon. Titi de Baccarat is still looking for a publisher.
Dedicated to social justice in a hostile political context, Titi de Baccarat organized an exhibition in which he presented two categories of portraits of African presidents. Those of the dictators and those of the nationalists …. Kidnapped and tortured then released, he was forced to flee his country, Gabon, with only the wealth of his artistic ability.
New Home and Communities
He moved to Portland, Maine in February 2015 and despite the many barriers such as language, he is convinced that “art has the capacity to rehabilitate love, to bring people together from all countries, origins, cultures and ethnicities”.
He immediately set to work by collecting artistic collaborations, art exhibitions and artistic residencies such as at the University of Maine, Berwick Academy, Space gallery, Indigo Arts Alliance…drawing on his African identity and artistic expertise to formally introduce himself to the Maine artistic community and to help build a more inclusive community. Titi African book My story – YouTube
Later, he felt a deep unease when he violently discovered the contemptuous and unjust treatment that some communities continue to suffer in the United States.
He then decided to broaden the themes of his artistic work to the question of social justice and diversity to accentuate a better awareness and encourage people to fight against all forms of inequality/discrimination.
He sets up community projects such as the Kneeling Art Photography Project to give local populations the opportunity to express their solidarity by demonstrating their commitment to justice and equality alongside minorities.
In 2020, he created artwork inspired by the American political climate and the evolution/revolution of civil rights for black people. Two of his works including a photograph titled ”I Can’t Breathe” had been selected by the Portland Museum of Art to be part of the exhibition titled “Untitled, 2020: Art From Maine In A______Time” Titi de Baccarat — Portland Museum of Art
As a community builder, he wants to revisit present and past history with fresh eyes to imagine an alternative future focused on how we could make happiness a collective project.
As an artist he is interested in making visible the diversity that exists in Maine cities through permanent public art.
As an activist he is interested in creating a socially engaging fashion event that will highlight the power and importance of activism as an instrument of democracy.
Languages Spoken: English, French, Lingala