Jean-Claude Garoute (Tiga)


about the artist


Jean-Claude Garoute (known also as “Tiga”) was a Haitian painter and sculptor. Born in Jérémie, Garoute co-founded a museum of ceramic art in Haiti named Poto-Mitan. An abstract painter, he participated in art festivals throughout the world.

Tiga and Maud Guerdes Robard founded the Saint-Soleil post-naïve school of Haitian painting. The school was born when they offered farmers in Soisson-La-Montagne, a rural area near Port-au-Prince, drawing and painting materials. Out of the movement came such painters as Levoy Exil, Louisiane Saint Fleurant, St-Jean, and Dieuseul Paul, to name a few. The movement drew the eye of French author André Malraux, who dedicated a chapter to it in his book L'Intemporel.

In the late 80’s Tiga also created Kaytiga, a gallery and cultural center, where he taught children and adults art through his Rotation Artistique (Artistic Rotation) method. The method consisted of letting pupils roam freely from clay to drums to paint to ink. Over the years Kaytiga had various addresses in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, and eventually moved to Delmas, another suburb of Port-au-Prince.

In his own paintings, Tiga often used his "Solèy Brile" method, a combination of ink and acid.

Tiga died in December 2006 in Florida from cancer. Haiti’s February 2007 carnival was dedicated to him and embraced the theme Solèy Leve (Risen Sun) to evoke the Saint-Soleil movement he co-created.