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Haitian-American Portraitist

NEW YORK — Kahiem Archer makes unfamiliar commuters familiar through color. With markers on his lap, he captures the faces of those sitting across and next to him on the NYC Subway before they reach their stop.

Mostly known for his portraits, Archer hopps on trains and hangs out at coffee shops to draw hasty commuters or those stationary, drinking their morning coffee.

“Art was my home education,” Archer said. And it is through art that “my father taught us his life and culture.”

“Before I could put together words, I was putting together images on paper at the dinner table,” he said on Brad Show Live.

Archer’s father and mother immigrated to America from Haiti years ago for different reasons. While his father came for an education, his mother came to escape her current conditions, Archer said.

Growing up in a communal Haitian building, Archer saw his parent’s take on immediate jobs working as taxi driver and in a hair salon to keep a roof over their heads.

Reflecting the immigrant spirit, Archer said he mimics his parent’s sustainable approach to living.

I have found a way to make people smile at parties and events, and a way to decorate their homes through art, he said.

“My American dream is to be able to create and do what I please to sustain myself and my family,” he said, because “it is all about freedom at the end of the day.”

To watch the rest of Archer’s full interview, visit this link.

To view more segments on Brad Show Live, tune in Monday through Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. EST.