Raymond Lafaiille-------------------------- Raymond Lafaille was a very rich painter in the sense of his abilities.
Not so much in accumulating money. He was too generous a person. He would
literally give you the shirt off his back or give you his last dime.
He did a number of commission works for my family, some masterpieces wayout
of his usual repertoire. He was soft-spoken and most of all he was very very
honest. His word he would often said was all he had as a poor man. So he was his word.
Unlike many artists, he never never broke his word.
When you see Lafaiile and see his person, you cannot but notice how thin he was, yes he was skinnier than a baton.
But don't let that fool you. He was strong as a bull. I don't know if he could go up the hills to Petion Ville but a number of time he would come from Petion Ville to Canape Vert to the base on foot. Drench in sweat he would rest and wash in the bassin or hose his head with water, get a few dollars, get a tap tap to downtown PaP.
Now what makes Lafaille extraordinary is, after he suffered from tuberculosis
(unlike the very well known galleries of Petionville I stood with him all the way)
He donated some paintings to the physicians to cover the rest of the hospital bill.
In his weak state after discharge, he went to the Dominican Republic to bring back his best friend Raymond Joseph who was hiding there at an ex-girlfriend house. Lafaille and Raymond spoke perfect Spanish and
they both lived there for quite a few years he told me before living.
Every artist at one time or another has experienced with drugs. However some become
addicted, That was the case of Raymond Joseph. He took not only my commission money but
he burned a lot of other people as well. Knowing the good nature of Raymond Joseph, Lafaille
was able and persuaded his good friend to come back and work it out to his debtors.
I don't know about the others but Raymond Joseph more than compensated for what he did.
Before he would lie to get money to the point one day he told me his mother just died.
Coming back to the fold Raymond Joseph told me after hearing how I stood by Lafaille
during his hospitalization, he would stay loyal to the end. A high level of trust was established and he became the main demarcheur.
Fast forward years later.....Even thou I was not active as before
Last December he send me 10 of his best paintings and a 1-minute video which I took a
snapshop to put on his page. He did not say a word in the video, he just smiled at one time.
He did not need to say anything. I knew he was ill. I contacted him right away and got direct confirmation, Western Union within the hour. He died less than a week later.
All I need to say is that he was buried with dignity. His best friend Raymond Lafaille died also
earlier last year, same story.
The fact of the matter is when someone you knew died specially
when you are in an advanced age, your world shrank every time and your own name moves close to the top of list. During the 80s '90s and 2000s somethings have happened or we have cause things to
happen. I'm already on the path so before I leave to follow Raymond Joseph, Raymond Lafaille,
Fritz Merise, Dieudonne Cedor, Ernst Louizor, and the list goes on. So before I leave I wanted
to share the story. I'm not in Hollywood nor I'm am I a writer of books. So on my little humble
website and yes thru my broken English I communicate and I share it with you my dear Haitian Art Lover.
Joseph Canatve January 2020.-