1. Roy Reid, Outsider Artist from Jamaica

    by Laurie Ahner

    After dropping out of school at the age of 11, Roy Reid (Jamaica, 1937-2009) remained illiterate until his thirties. Spiritual by nature, he then taught himself to read by using the Bible. Today he is regarded as one of the most important outsider artists in his native Jamaica. His use of strong colors often carries symbolic meanings.
    Roy Reid, Nurse

    Nurse by Roy Reid. Oil on canvas, 30 x 26 inches, $3,850.


    Roy Reid, Wonder.

    Wonder by Roy Reid. Oil on canvas, 32 x 24 inches (framed), $3,850.

  2. Recent Acquisition: Jonathan Demme Collection

    by Laurie Ahner

    My dear friend Jonathan Demme (1944-2017), a notable American film director (Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs, and many more) passed away on April 26th. He was an avid art collector, and a great supporter of Folk & Outsider Art and Artists. Every year, he visited us at the Outsider Art Fair in New York bringing with him much enthusiasm. His vast art collection is beyond spectacular, and it is truly a reflection of his joyful yet modest personality. Though he is incredibly missed by so many fans and friends like myself, his passion for Haitian and Folk Art, and his heart and soul, will endure. His eye was for true quality and intense color, and I am honored to own many works from his collection!


    “Still Life 03” by Sénèque Obin, Haiti. Oil on panel 24 x 20 inches, framed. 1959, signed. Jonathan Demme Collection. $8,500


    “Fishing Boats at Dawn” by Ernst Prophete, Haiti. Oil on panel. 24 x 12 inches, framed. Jonathan Demme Collection. $1,850



    “Chicken Coop” by Paul Jean, Haiti (deceased). Oil on Masonite 16 x 20 inches. Jonathan Demme Collection. $950.

  3. Spirituality in the Work of Amos Ferguson

    by Laurie Ahner

    Amos Ferguson created many magnificent paintings of various religious themes.
    I have been involved in collecting and selling the work of Amos Ferguson, (1920-2009), Bahamas, since the early 1980’s. Amos became a friend, and I have sold more of his work than any other artist I have ever represented. He was a man who could paint joy! Since Galerie Bonheur means “good feelings,” and “joy”, I have always had a special love for this artist’s work.
    Spirituality in the Work of Amos Ferguson 01
    It is obvious from looking at his paintings, Amos Ferguson loved to paint in brilliant and vibrant colors, and his subject matter was generally straightforward and direct. His imagery was typically flowers, fauna, fish, boating and fishing, nature, birds, colorful Bahamian houses, families, ladies and children, choirs, everyday life in the islands, and many scenes of his native people, both black and white.
    Everyone can relate to these scenes no matter where they live, since we all love the great outdoors and good weather, both of which the Bahamas has quite a lot! However there was another motivation and theme permeating Amos’ work, and for which he is well known. Spirituality was a big factor in his life, and his belief in God and the Bible inspired most of his oeuvre.
    Spirituality in the Work of Amos Ferguson 02
    Amos’ religious beliefs were inbred, as his father was a preacher and a carpenter on Exuma Island. Having left home at age 14, Amos worked as a house painter in Nassau, until his nephew told him that the Lord spoke to him in a dream, with a strong message that Amos should use his talent to create art. In his 40’s Amos started to paint prolifically; he concentrated on intensely personal religious paintings as well as brightly colored, joyous renderings of social rituals such as the Junkanoo festival.
    To quote his niece, Lorraine Bastian, “Ferguson credits his successful career and profound creative gift to his faith in God. Ferguson says that he ‘paints by faith, not by sight. Faith gives you sight.’ “
    “To paint, the Lord gives you a vision, a sight that you go by,” Amos once told a reporter. “But don’t forget you have to see and check the Bible and don’t forget God. And the more you keep up with your Bible, and get the understanding, the better you paint.” Amos Ferguson.
    Spirituality in the Work of Amos Ferguson 03
    To quote Ute Stebich, an art historian who helped introduce Amos to the art world in the USA in the 1980’s,  “There is a tenderness, a generous and smiling attitude toward life, which may have its origin in the deeply rooted religiosity of the Bahamian people.”
    Another major collector of Amos, Sukie Miller, said: “Every time I passed his painting a strange thing happened: I heard Gospel music.”
    Erica James, director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, described Amos as a “dynamo,” and a very spiritual and passionate man who lived transparently.
    Geoffrey Holder, another collector of Amos’s work, wrote: “Ferguson’s work reminds me of the Garden of Eden before the Snake. It’s pure, it’s clean, it’s direct, uncluttered.”
    Another comment after his by death in 2009, by a news writer: ” Mr. Ferguson was a devout Christian and many believe that it was his infallible faith that lent him the courage and vision to fully explore and develop his unique and distinctive style.” Reuben Shearer, The Tribune, October 21, 2009.
    Spirituality in the Work of Amos Ferguson 04
    Amos Ferguson was a sincere and genuine human being who loved God, his country, life, and the gift of his art. His simple lifestyle did not change or improve with his success and fame in the 1980’s, and the humble genius with a gentle and warm smile continued to paint until death took him to his Maker.
    The religious and Biblical paintings by Amos Ferguson are truly a tribute to his incredible life and career, revealing his heart and soul to those of us lucky enough to be a witness to this Master artist.
  4. Pre-Holiday SALE ! Give Thanks !

    Our pre-HOLIDAY SALE includes many wonderful paintings that are treasured by Galerie Bonheur and need a new home.
    These are great prices, with generous discounts, but also feel free to make an offer! We aim to please.
    Also check out our great deals on our SALE page!
    Pre-Holiday Sale at Galerie Bonheur 2016 Pre-Holiday Sale at Galerie Bonheur 2016 Pre-Holiday Sale at Galerie Bonheur 2016 Pre-Holiday Sale at Galerie Bonheur 2016
  5. Support Haiti with a purchase of art! – 20% of Haitian art sales will be donated to Haitian charities

    by Laurie Ahner

    As everyone knows, HAITI was recently hit hard with Hurricane Matthew and thousands are homeless as a result. This special country which has given so much to me in terms of inspiration, appreciation, fulfillment in my career, not to mention wonderful art and friendships for a lifetime, is in dire need once more.

    I started Galerie Bonheur with a collection of happy and colorful Haitian Art in 1980. The country and people have had my heart since that time, and I have enjoyed every day of this association and the many brilliant works of art that I have bought and sold over those 36 years. Therefore, I am moved to raise funds for Haiti again… I have done in the past.

    Please purchase a piece of our Haitian Art now, at our best low price, and we will donate at least 20% to one of our favorite Haitian charities such as: Hope for HaitiMeds and Foods for KidsFondam, and Arts Foundation for Children of Haiti.

    These funds go directly to help the people and children who are suffering from lack of food, clothing, housing and the basic needs of humanity. (Every dollar will go straight to those caring for victims. No dollars will be diverted for administrative needs as happens with many American relief agencies.)

    I promise that you will not regret your purchase as it will bring you joy and pleasure for many years, and it will also help some Haitians to continue on their difficult path through life.

    Many thanks, love and appreciation, and hugs from Haiti, and from Laurie, owner and director of Galerie Bonheur. ️️️️