Frantz Zephirin

Frantz Zephirin

Haiti
    Biography

    Zephirin was born in Cap Haitien, Haiti on December 17, 1968. By his reckoning, he is the 24th of 48 children sired by his architect father (with 19 different women). As a toddler he sat and watched his uncle, the Haitian painter Antoine Obin, as he worked. By the age of seven, Frantz was filching paint in bottlecaps to do his own paintings. Within a year he was selling paintings to the tourists from cruise ships that docked in Le Cap in those days and by age thirteen, lying about his age, he was selling work to galleries. Eventually he moved to Port-au-Prince and became associated with the Galerie Monnin. His style is unique among the painters of the Northern School. He describes himself as a "Historic Animalist". He is entirely self-taught. Unlike many Haitian painters, he usually titles his paintings.
    Zephirin counts among his influences Leonardo da Vinci, James Darwin and the Lost Continent of Atlantis. His work is shown internationally. In October 1996 he was awarded the Gold medal in the Third Biennal of Caribbean and Central American Painting, sponsored the The Museum of Modern Art of the Dominican Republic. This competition featured 144 artists from 37 countries in the region. He was one of five Haitians to be included in the V Biennal in Cuenca, Ecuador in 1996. Two of his paintings are featured in the wonderful show "Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou" that toured the USA in 1997 and 1998. One of his paintings is featured on the cover of the bestseller "The Immaculate Invasion" by Bob Shacochis. His work was shown by the American Visionary Art Museum (Baltiimore) in the exhibits, "Holy H20" in 2005 and "Home & Beast" in 2006-7. Zephirin lives outside of Port-au-Prince, but travels extensively.