Frantz Zephirin

A famous Haitian painter, Frantz Zephirin taught himself how to paint.  Born in Cap Haitien he started his career selling his paintings to tourists that once frequented the port regularly.  His paintings are frequently social and political allegories of Haiti’s history and its tumultuous present.

Artist Frantz Zephirin has painted more than a dozen canvases inspired by the quake, showing distraught faces trapped in ruined buildings and hands reaching up through a sea of blood.

“I can only think of this. The earthquake. I walk in the devastated streets, I drink, I think, and I go back to paint. I do not sleep. I paint. I paint like I breathe.” -Frantz Zephirin

“Resurrection of the Dead”
A symbolic voodoo painting by Frantz Zephirin, the three skeletal figures in the doorway are guede, members of a family of spirits who guard the frontier between life and death.


creating art from Haiti’s rubble

Elise Francisco, an artist who has sold paintings to Nader’s father, said it was important artists registered the ­earthquake. “I’ll paint the houses that have fallen, the buildings that are destroyed, the cracked land,” he said. “We are going to show our children what happened here. This is our history.” – clip from the New Yorker

A showcase for Haitian sculptors who call themselves Atis Rezistans. The group’s three senior members — Andre Eugene, Jean Heard Celeur and Frantz Jacques, known as Guyodo — work together in the Grand Rue, in a warren of cinderblock car-repair shops that supply the material for their art:  rusted chassis, steering wheels, hubcaps, broken crankshafts, cast-off oil filters. With the help of young assistants, they turn this industrial junk into demonic doomsday figures with giant phalluses and gargoylish bodies topped by plastic doll heads or human skulls.

the art of resilience

Art scupltures created by the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
Sculptor Andre Eugene has not only continued to create art post-earthquake but actually has been newly inspired. “Look at my art and look at Haitians,” he told Gilkey in May. “Look at my art and look at resistance, look at resilience.” He creates recycled art from scraps found around town; it goes without saying that he now has more material than ever.

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The Jan. 12 magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck the capital, Port-au-Prince—which is the country’s most populated area and economic and administrative center—as well as the towns of Léogâne, Jacmel and Petit-Goâve. The damage and losses are estimated at $7.9 billion USD.

About 1.5 million people—15% of the population—were directly affected. More than 300,000 died and as many were injured. About 1.3 million people are living in temporary shelters in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, while more than 600,000 have left the area and are sheltering elsewhere in the country. Existing problems providing food and basic services in outlying areas have been exacerbated.