Camy Rocher was a talented Haitian artist who was born on July 5, 1959, in Baraderes, a small town located on the southern peninsula of Haiti. At the age of 11, he moved to Port-au-Prince with his sister and decided to stay there. He began to work as an assistant to the framer at the Galerie Monnin, where he was inspired by the beautiful paintings he saw.
Rocher was a self-taught artist who started painting at the age of 12 or 13, under the patronage of the renowned painter Calixte Henry, who provided him with brushes and paints. Rocher’s paintings were heavily influenced by his devotion to Vodou, a traditional Haitian religion that combines African beliefs with Catholicism.
In 1978, Rocher participated in the group show “Five Vodou Artists” at the Institute Francais in Port-au-Prince, which brought him national recognition. His paintings were later exhibited in various galleries and museums around the world, including the Nottingham Contemporary in 2012 and La Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris in 2000.
Rocher’s paintings often depicted the Vodou Loa, the spirits of the Haitian religion. He was particularly fascinated by Agoue and La Siren, the sea loa, but he struggled to represent them accurately in his art. In early 1981, while preparing for a solo show at the Galerie Monnin, Rocher went swimming near his home in the Carrefour neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and drowned. He was only 21 years old.
Today, Rocher’s works are extremely rare, and his premature death cut short what could have been a promising career in the Haitian art scene. Nonetheless, his legacy continues to inspire and influence many artists in Haiti and around the world.