“I strive to be authentic and true to myself, rather than attempting to create work that will simply please others. I want my paintings to reflect my own unique perspective and to serve as a means of self-expression.”
Who is Lesly Pierre Paul?
I am a young artist and art teacher from the Grand Rue, Haiti, a district in Port-au-Prince known for its rich artistic history. I was born and raised in the area, and the artistic culture that surrounded me heavily influenced my work. In 2009, I began working with young artists through the organization “Timoun Rezistans,” which focuses on empowering youth through art and education. It was through this organization that I met the artist Guerly, who became a major influence on my work. As an autodidact, I have learned to paint on my own, developing my own unique style. One of my major sources of inspiration is Haitian voodoo, which can be seen in the vibrant colors and spiritual themes of my paintings. I have exhibited my work at several galleries and events, including the 2015 Ghetto Biennale. My talent has not gone unnoticed, and I have gained recognition as a rising star in the Haitian art scene. As both an artist and an art teacher, I am dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich artistic heritage of my home in the Grand Rue. Through my work, I hope to inspire the next generation of Haitian artists and keep the spirit of the district alive.
What exhibitions have you particularly enjoyed in recent years?
I have had numerous exhibitions throughout the world, including several in the United Kingdom, Argentina, and the United States. Some notable exhibitions include the Chrom-Art trible 16 show in the UK from October 12 to October 15, 2017, the Universo art kids exhibition in Argentina on October 21, 2017, and the This Is It Gallery shows in the USA from June 2 to June 16, 2017 and from November 10, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Additionally, I have had several solo and collective exhibitions in Haiti, such as the New Vision collective exhibition at IERAH University on August 23, 2016, and the solo exhibition at Institut français in 2019. In France, I have been featured in several collective exhibitions, including Esprits vagabonds in January 2021 and vous êtes une Fleur on September 6, 2021.
Can you tell us about the type of work you create?
My primary medium is painting, which I typically create using either oil or acrylic. I occasionally venture into other mediums, such as sculpture and drawing, where I typically use pen and pencil to create vibrant, colorful works. I am constantly exploring new ways to express myself and my art, and I am always looking for new and exciting mediums to work with.
Where do you typically find inspiration for your work?
As an artist, my primary source of inspiration is my own life experiences, as well as elements of Haitian culture and spirituality, such as Vodou loa and the natural world. I am particularly drawn to painting the loa, as they hold great personal significance to me. In my art, I strive to be authentic and true to myself, rather than attempting to create work that will simply please others. I want my paintings to reflect my own unique perspective and to serve as a means of self-expression. By drawing upon the rich tapestry of my own life and culture, I aim to create art that is both personal and universal, resonating with viewers on a deep, emotional level.
Which series of works are you most proud?
The series of works I am most proud of is entitled “Gatekeeper of Light,” a fitting name given to the collection by the esteemed Dr Craig Williams. I am thrilled to report that all three pieces from this series were met with great acclaim and sold in the year of their creation, solidifying their place as a highlight in my artistic career.
How do you envision your future as an artist?
My professional aspirations for the near and distant future include showcasing my artwork in more galleries and museums, as well as becoming a part of various art collections around the world. Following my experience as a mediator in the Nway Kanpe exhibition and as an artistic investigator in the FOKAL project, I hope to have the opportunity to participate in an artistic residency to further my knowledge of other artists and techniques.