About the Artist | Haitian Art Auction | Smithsonian
(Bill Bollendorf)

About the Artist

About the Artist

smithsonian.com

Frantz Zéphirin was born on December 17, 1968, in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He is, by his reckoning, the 24th of his father’s 48 children (born to 19 different women). Zéphirin was raised by his grandmother near her voodoo compound in Cap-Haitien before moving to Port-au-Prince at the age of 16.

As a child, Zéphirin started painting images of colonial houses in 1973 with his uncle, the Haitian master Antoine Obin, but he quickly pulled away from the stylized school of the Cap artists. Since 1987, Zéphirin has shown his work at Haiti’s Galerie Monnin.

His work is instantly recognizable by the human figures with animal heads, which represent his deep cynicism for the country’s ruling class. Zéphirin’s paintings are characterized by their bright colors, patterns and tightly packed compositions. Extremely prolific, Zéphirin is known for his powerful imagination and devastating social commentary. His inspiration comes from the country’s political history, events in the Bible and voodoo mythology.

Zéphirin has shared his vision wherever he has gone, including France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, the United States and Panama.

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