Ralph Allen belongs to a cohort of Haitian artists who began their artistic life outside of Haiti. Allen followed his family into exile during the oppressive Duvalier regime and learned to paint in New York City. Consequently, his work does not follow the formal conventional traditions of Haitian art. His themes, however, remain Haitian, and his large murals are suffused with Haitian street life.
Allen’s mural Envoutement captures the vibrancy of Haitian music and dance, which are always present in Haitian cultural activities. Through vigorous brushstrokes and vivid colors, Envoutement communicates the energy of Haitian music.
Envoutement was created as part of the exhibition The Art of Haiti: Loas, History, and Memory and will remain on view throughout 2018. Assistance was provided by Colorado College student Quang Vu.