Narrating the Haitian Story, an exhibition of paintings by Haitian artist Fritz St. Jean is on view Tuesday – Saturday at First Street Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan August 13 – 29, 2018. There is a reception on Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 6 – 8 pm.
Fritz St. Jean
Fritz St. Jean was born in Port Au Prince, Haiti in 1954. A natural artist, his paintings done in Haiti of animals in the jungle recall the style of French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau. In the mid 1970s St. Jean was part of a group of artists associated with Galerie Monnin in Port Au Prince.
In 1985 St. Jean emigrated to New York. Being far away from home, his themes shifted to be about Haitian social, cultural and political issues. He consciously decided to document Haitian history.
One of the highlights of St. Jean’s career was the exhibition of two monumental canvases at The Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1998.
The artist died in New York in 2017.
Fritz St. Jean Narrating the Haitian Story
St. Jean called himself, “an ambassador for Haiti when I paint.”
The figure in the painting is Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758 – 1806), the Haitian Revolution leader who became the first governor-general of Haiti.
St. Jean’s mystical iconography may be obvious to Haitians, but more opaque to those from outside the culture.
Visit First Street Gallery
First Street Gallery
526 West 26th St, New York, NY 10001
(between Tenth & Eleventh Ave)
Monday – Friday: 11 am – 6 pm
(C) (E) to 23rd St