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Haitian Art Gallery

Collected by Marcus Rediker

Charles Obas

Charles Obas was born in 1927 in Plaisance, Haiti. He studied at Notre Dame du Cap Haitien, and began to paint at the age of thierteen. He joined the Centre d'Art in 1948, but in 1950, with several other artists, separated to establish the Foyer des Arts Plastiques, where a new social realism would take shape. Obas in particular became an outspoken opponent of the Duvalier dictatorship, who struck back by the dreaded Ton-ton Macoutes (the secret police), who terrorized the artist and his family. Obas responded in 1968 by waging a one-person protest in front of the presidential palace, after which he disappeared, and was almost certainly tortured and murdered. His art, which reflects his personal and political struggle in haunting ways, has been exhibited around the world. His son, Beethova Obas, is one of Haiti's leading musicians.

Art by Charles Obas

"Orage Menaçant," 1965
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36" (Threatening Thunderstorm)

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