Haitian painting styles and some Haitian artists are world famous with good reason. Even paintings in the so called "naive" or unsophisticated style can be refreshingly powerful. You will see works of colonial, impressionistic and even abstract character. The best of these works are seen in museums and classy galleries. It is also fairly easy to visit real artists at work, but even more accessible are the street high volume producers of paintings whose value is limited by the non-artistic nature of their production.
It is important to distinguish between art and craft production.
What to buy: Buy what you like and what you can afford. One problem is that the gallery prices are NOT a good basis from which to start negotiating for a street painting because the quality difference between a one of a kind true attempt at art and a street painting is great. In both situations some negotiating is indicated, but in the case of the street painting the first asking price is likely to be many times the true street selling price. (Maybe as much as 5 times the real selling price.) In a gallery the prices may be essentially fixed.
What to pay: So much depends on size and character that it is hard to give a good range to pay. Perhaps one way to think of the street paintings is that they are like posters and pay accordingly. So an average sized street painting might be worth about $20 USD whereas a gallery painting might be around $400 but could be much more depending on the artist.
If you're going to labadee by cruise, bring cash. There several local bands strolling the beaches. They have cds for sale for $5-$10. We bought two. The cds work correctly. They remind me of my day in labadee. There are also lovely paintings. I got two for $15 each and met the artist.
anyway..even on a cruise, bring cash to labadee
the shops are all over
What to buy: ironworks, paintings, wood carvings, etc. etc
What to pay: nominal amounts, for what you get
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