I was born in Port-au-Prince, capital city of Haiti, on Monday December 17, of 1934, at 1h30 pm. I am the fifth and last born child of my parents who already had one boy and three girls. I have had a very happy childhood. I was spoiled and coddled by my mother, my father, my brother and my three sisters. My adolescence also unfolded very well. After high-school, my father had hoped I would study civil engineering but, by laziness, I opted for book-keeping which required only two years of study.
It was then time for me to put my new knowledge to practical use. A friend of the family, who was the general manager for a prestigious foreign bank established in Port-au-Prince, offered me a well-paid job. Notwithstanding the despair of that friend, and the disappointment of my parents, I rejected that job offer, putting forward that the working at the bank would restrict my freedom.
Fortunately, my brother had just opened a commercial radio station and it was with the greatest pleasure that I went to work with him, as a speaker, for a starvation salary. And, when my brother immigrated to the United States, I became the general manager of the radio station and worked there for several years.
I my spare time, I was either drawing, or writing humoristic articles that I was selling to a daily paper of Port-au-Prince, for almost nothing.
In 1968, a friend of mine, who believed in my artistic talent, thought that I was wasting my time with that low-profit radio station and advised me to enroll in a drawing and painting course at the Center of Art, in Port-au-Prince. I took his advice and I was glad to finally start following my heart. Meanwhile, my parents were mad at me, and kept saying that I had been wrong to refuse the job at the bank.
For my part, I had no regrets and I was very pleased to conduct my life as I wanted. After a few months of studying at the Center of Art, I managed to sell two small paintings for three times as much as I would have been paid monthly in the bank. It was at that moment that my family started to believe in my future and I was able to start a brilliant career as an artist with joy and confidence.
Rapidly, my efforts were crowned with success. In a few months my name became a solid reference in the field of Haitian painting. It was with great pride and confidence that the majority of the numerous art galleries of Haiti displayed the works of this new painter who, according to many galleries owners, constituted a pillar of their store. This craze for my paintings explains why I was very much in demand both for one man shows and group exhibits.
The art lovers of Haiti had the opportunity to see my paintings at the “Centre d’Art”, the museum of College St. Pierre, Nader Gallery, Festival Gallery, Jolicoeur Gallery, Oloffson Hotel, Castel Haiti Hotel, Issa Gallery, Red Carpet Gallery, etc…
Abroad, the galleries were more and more interested in my works, thanks to the incessant efforts of Issa Saieh, who thought that my original style should appeal to people in any country. He was perfectly right. Not only art lovers from everywhere gave my paintings a good reception, but the white dressed women of Claude Dambreville soon appeared in the most prestigious collections of United States, Canada, the West Indies, Europe and Asia.
In addition, my paintings made their entrance in a large number of Magazines such as Hemisphere, the monthly publication of United Airlines. Today, there is nothing unusual about seeing my white dressed women illustrating the menus of certain great restaurants for tourists or decorating some postcards or some greeting cards.
When I was not painting, I was writing. My talents as a humorist, novelist and serial writer were not wasted. Day after day, I produced more than one hundred tales and short stories, several humoristic pages, a few novels, some radiophonic shows, and three successful soap operas. In 1983, I was the prize winner of ?Henri Deschamps?? an annual literary prize, for my novel ?Un go?t de Fiel?? Later on, Franck Etienne and I co wrote the best seller “L’Amerique Saigne”.
After the courses at the Center of Art, I further improved my drawing by taking correspondence courses at ABC school of Paris. Afterwards, I studied artistic anatomy at “L’Atelier”, a school owned by the famous artist Nehemy Jean. It was there that I had the opportunity to meet an internationally known artist, the late Petion Savain. The latter had the great generosity of sharing with me his vast artistic knowledge. This noble friendship gave me the opportunity to discover a treasure with whom I am sharing my life since November 9, 1973. I am referring, of course, to his unique daughter, Bettyna.
From December 1999 until December 2011, we lived in the charming and splendid town of Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic. In January 2012, we settled down in Miami, Florida, where we are leading a quiet and pleasant life.
We have two sons, Vadim and Tao-Claude, and two grand-children who live also in Miami.