Exil, Levoi (1944 – )
Exil is a founder–member of
the Saint–Soleil school of naïf
artists — along with Dieuseul Paul,
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- )
member of a pominent family, did not paint for a living. He painted because he loved the art —
of course, because he had talent.
Faustin, Celestin (1948-81)
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
Those possibilities came to an abrupt end when Faustin died of a drug overdose.
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
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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