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WAO Gallery & Cultural Center located in Altos de Chavón will inaugurate on August 20 the joint exhibition “Spiritual Harmony” by Naif art masters José Morillo and Frantz Zéphirin. In this exhibition, two cultures come together under the same spirit. The artists will convey to the viewer the candor and ingenuity; the spontaneity and autodidacticism of these two exponents of primitive art, the bright and unnatural colors, and a supernatural perspective.

Naif art is an artistic style of popular and straightforward character. It portrays familiar themes and the popular culture of the places where it is produced, created mostly by self-taught artists and considered a popular art, unrelated to an artistic technicality.

The exhibition will consist of 30 works, with which these artists pay homage to their culture, showing in it moments of their daily life and festivities in which they participate, with an incredible simplicity of the elements, bright, warm, and saturated colors, but combined in a harmonious way. Combining visual elements, Naive Art techniques in which they reveal feelings, innocence, and purity in their creations.

The art critic Mariane de Tolentino says about Morillo’s work “The famous Haitian painter, Prefete Duffaut, affirmed that it is not naive painting, that it is a privilege, a special gift, José Morillo has received that special gift that he cultivates with intelligence, creativity, and his own style”. For her part, Zéphirin has appeared in articles in the New York Times, Le Monde, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, and the BBC. His art has been featured in the Haiti Art Naif: Memories of Paradise exhibition at the Denkmalschmiede Hofgen art center in Germany.

The exhibition will remain open from August 20 to September 20 on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from Wednesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

About the artists:

José Morillo

He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on August 16, 1975. He is currently considered the most representative Dominican naif artist. From an early age he became interested in naïve painting, since he used to take walks with his father along the Malecón in Santo Domingo, where colorful Haitian paintings and naïve style abounded. Morillo’s work is recognized nationally and internationally, because in each of them he elevates the features of Dominicanness, including religiosity and magical-religious rites, manifested in his paintings such as Selita La Bruja, Fiesta, La Sagrada Familia, My grandmother and her sisters, Coffee Pickers, among others.

Frantz Zéphirin

He was born on December 17, 1968 in Cap Haitien. He is, by his calculations, the 24th of 48 children fathered by his father (with 19 different women). Zephirin was raised by his grandmother near her voodoo compound in Cap-Haïtien before moving to Port-au-Prince at the age of 16.

Zéphirin began painting colonial houses in 1973 with Haitian master Antoine Obin, but soon moved away from the stylized school of Cap artists. Today, his work is instantly recognizable by the human figures with animal heads, which represent his profound cynicism for the governing body. His very creative and original style soon caught the attention of the art world in Haiti and his career took off very quickly. Zephirin’s work is characterized by its bright colors, patterns and compact compositions.

Spiritual Harmony by José Morillo and Frantz Zéphirin

When: Opening August 20, 7pm

Where: WAO Gallery

Contacts:, 809-523-8470, @waogaleria,