Thursday, March 24, 2005

Big Booty Woman is gone

She’s gone. Someone bought her. Or stole her.

The painting of a naked woman with an enormous butt couldn’t be missed on our travels through Haiti. Her butt took over the bottom (no pun intended) half of the painting always caught our eye as we traveled through Delmas up to Petionville to our hotel. She had this “come hither” look, casting a seductive glance over one shoulder. We christened her Big Booty woman. Baby got some MAJOR back.

She hung on a chain link fence, said fence cordoning off someone’s private property. They took down the fence and replaced it with a concrete wall, but the enterprising artist found a new way to hang his paintings by inserting handles into the wall.

Haitian art is colorful, sometimes primitive. Some artists copy a famous painting over and over, like the infamous street market scene. Some artists can now command thousands of dollars for their art. Most of the street artists are just trying to scrape together a living, like many Haitians. I have a few paintings, but my favorite is one I purchased from a leper at a hospital in Leogane (yes, Haiti has lepers). It has special meaning for me because of the gratitude shining in the person's eyes.

Big Booty Woman was always a familiar sight in Haiti, like the traffic, the diesel fumes, the potholes and the sidewalk vendors. She’s gone now.

I have a feeling she’ll be back, in some reincarnated form, on my next trip.

Ironically, the skimpy G-string donned by a woman on a billboard on the airport road advertising beer is now covered. A Haitian woman’s group complaining about how demeaning it was covered it with a big blue tarp. The same kind of big blue tarps that still cover many Florida roofs since last year’s frenzied hurricane season.

I saw it and laughed. If only bare butts were Haiti’s biggest problem, wouldn’t life be grand?

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