Exil, Levoi (1944 –   )


156. Loas_
1995 (30x30)

   Exil is a founder–member of the Saint–Soleil school of naïf artists — along with Dieuseul Paul, Prospére Pierre–Louis, Louisiane
St–Fleurant, and Denis Smith. He is perhaps better known than any of them but St–Fleurant herself.
   Like the others, Exil represents vodou figures. Much of his inspiration, he says, comes in dreams — visions that inform him, inter alia, about his past lives.
   Exil employs more intense colors than most other Saint–Soleil artists, though St–Fleurant's later work is also marked by rich hues. Uniquely, Exil often gives his lwas animal companions. His works have been exhibited throughout the world and he is especially popular in France.

  René Exumé (1929-   )


256. Bawon Samdi
c1976 (39x14)

 

 

   René Exumé, member of a pominent family, did not paint for a living. He painted because he loved the art — and, of course, because he had talent.
   Though his dates would seem to qualify Exum
é as a "first generation" artist, he is seldom if ever included in that class — the last member of which is held to be Prêféte Duffaut, who died in 2012.
   These works were obtained — as were several others in my collection — from the painter's nephew, Aderson Coulotte Exum
é, a top Haïtian art collector who lives in the Washington, D C area.
  
Bawon Samdi, or Baron Samedi, is a leading — or the chief — lwa of vodou's Ghede, or Guédé, family. He rules death and the graveyard. Anyone familiar with vodou would instantly recognize him in this painting, since he is almost always pictured, as here, wearing a tophat and smoking a cigar.
   Exum
é's Samdi has been extensively exhibited and is one of the best known representations of the lwa.
   "Unexpected Return" was also obtained from Aderson
Exumé, who identified the work as his uncle's "final masterpiece." It portrays with humor a cheating husband's nightmare: the surprise return of his spouse.


260. Unexpected Return
2000 (40x30)

 

 

     Faustin, Celestin (1948-81)

  
246. Dreams
 c1980 (16x24)

   For an altogether too brief a period, in the mid- to late '70s, Jacmel native Celestin Faustin was among the most praised and sought-after Haitian artists. His work had gone from scenes of everyday life to surrealism — at which he was a master. In appreciation the critic Ute Stebich wrote that Faustin was "one of the most extraordinary Haitian painters, with seemingly limitless possibilities."
  
Those possibilities came to an abrupt end when Faustin died of a drug overdose.
 

     Faustin, Obès (1959–   )


40. Legbe
c1978 (24x30)

     Celestin inspired and encouraged his cousin and townsman, Obès, to begin painting. Like the older master, Obès started with scenes of Haitian life but quickly gravitated to surrealism. His works are sometimes mistaken for those of Celestin, though Obès discourages comparisons.
   Obès has been exhibited in the US and Canada and in the Dominican Republic, Ivory Coast, and France.
   'Legbe,' from his first period, shows the vodou 'god of the crossroads' — or fate — interacting with villagers. The lwa, Legbe, is the bearded fellow in the left-center of the painting.

           

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