Felix, LaFortuné (1933–   )

   Felix is a latter–day star, with a better claim to being 'the new Hyppolite' than most other nominees. He shares with the legend both birth in the Artibonite and a similar life–story.
   He was a farmer and a houngan well into his 40s. In 1976 Pierre Monosiet — a major figure in Haitian art who was once assistant to DeWitt Peters — spotted decorations Felix had painted on the walls of his ounfò, or vodou temple; three decades earlier, ounfò paintings had led Peters himself to Hyppolite.
   Monosiet soon provided Felix with art supplies and introduced him to the art world — just as Peters had done with Hyppolite.

 

   Vodou themes — and occasional syncretistic vodou and Christian subjects — predominate in Felix's paintings.
   Felix's works have been featured in books and magazines and have been highly prized by collectors.
   Unfortunately, commercialism has reared its head. Many of the artist's later works have been hurried. Worse yet, he appears to have 'back–dated' some recent pieces to make it seem they were executed in his artistic prime.
   None of that seems to be true of these three works. All appear to be dated honestly; and that from 1980 shows Felix at his very best.

 
171. Cérémonie vodou
1980 (30x30)
 
194. Despair
_
2000 (20x20)
 
206. Cérémonie vodou
1999 (30x30)
 

     Françilien, Emmanuel (   –   )


81. 'Carnaval champrêtre 78'
c1981 (30x24)

Nothing known: just liked it.
  
I bought this painting at Flamingo, a curious little Cap–Haitien gallery and atelier run by a Frenchman. From its style, I assume the artist is a northerner and may have studied or worked at some point with Charles Anatole.

   In October 2000 I spotted two works by Françilien in the 'Haitian Painting' section of e-bay's auction — so this is not the only work the artist has ever sold.

     François, Roger (1928–2013)

 


48. Nude»
c1979 (16x8)


87. Nude and Owl
c1985 (24x20)

    A painter whose works continue to be quite popular, François worked mostly as a sculptor until the mid– or late 1970s. (Two unrelated gallery owners have each taken credit for persuading François to switch from sculpting to painting.)
   His art became steadily more sophisticated; much of his later output was surrealistic. Fabulously colored birds, rendered in great detail, appear in many of François's works, as do bare–breasted women.
   Enfants du soleil is a conceit that François painted, in slightly different ways, many times — always well.
   The pairing of Mother and Child is among the most endearing human images. In François's rendering the mother is strong and protective. (Note the way her headpiece shields the child). She is a bit distant — but vigilant. The infant is vulnerable and dependent, but also beginning to explore….
   (The 'Mother' may be or have been a real person: she appeared in many of François's later paintings.)

 

 

 


211. 'Enfants du soleil'
c2000 (16x20)


220. Mother and Child
c2000 (24x20)
 

           

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