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A riot of color greeted Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme the first time he walked into Haitian Corner, an art gallery near his Manhattan apartment. Transfixed, he left with a $250 painting by Haitian master Wilson Bigaud. The seed was planted.Demme's appreciation for work by self-taught Haitian painters like Bigaud and Hector Hyppolite flowered into an obsession that he fed with multiple trips to the cash-poor but artistically rich country, where he learned to speak Creole and shot two documentaries.Demme's collection includes many pieces produced at the Centre d'Art, the landmark Port-au-Prince art cooperative destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.Demme doesn't mind letting go of his treasures.
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