The Haitian art school Saint Soleil is a movement that emerged in the 1970s in the town of Soisson-La-Montagne, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The name “Saint Soleil” translates to “Holy Sun” in French, and it represents the movement’s spiritual and mystical orientation.
Saint Soleil was founded by a group of artists who aimed to create a new style of Haitian art that combined modern lines with primitive features. The movement rejected the traditional Haitian art forms that were heavily influenced by European styles and sought to create a uniquely Haitian aesthetic that drew from the country’s rich cultural heritage.
One of the key features of the Saint Soleil movement was its focus on spirituality. The artists saw their work as a means of exploring the spiritual dimensions of Haitian culture and creating a bridge between the physical and the metaphysical worlds. The movement was also deeply influenced by vodou, the traditional Afro-Haitian religion that blends African and Catholic beliefs.
Several artists participated in the Saint Soleil movement, including Prospère Pierre-Louis, Dieuseul Paul, Levoy Exil, and Denis Smith. Each artist brought their own unique style to the movement, but they all shared a commitment to creating art that was deeply rooted in Haitian culture and spirituality.