Efraín Antonio Morales
Efraín Antonio is a Panamanian folk artist artist who paints the indigenous peoples of his country in the style of figurative abstract impressionism. His source of inspiration comes from women, in the form of Pachamama (Mother Earth), and his intense reverence for the earth. His art is characterized by vibrant colors, surrealism and fantasy as it reflects the condition and daily life of Panamá’s Indio culture.
Efraín was born and raised by his maternal grandparents in the city of David. He has always lived in the Chiriquí Province of Western Panamá, and now makes a living selling his art in the verdant mountains of Boquete.
His artist process began as a young adult after graduating from high school Colegio Francisco Morazañ with a diploma in business, when he studied briefly at Bellas Artes, a university of art in David. This is when Efraín realized his passion for art, and that he wanted to make the creation of art his life’s work. But on his own terms. Efraín found the college environment stifling because, while he was exploring the expansion of his mind and spirituality, his professors kept reinforcing their own ways of thought as the only way to produce art. He decided that this professional pathway to art was not for him and chose not to finish. Thus Efraín is primarily a self-taught artist.
Efraín studied with two Central American masters of painting. First was Peruvian artist Mario Briceno, from whom he learn advanced techniques and marketing. When Mario’s father died, he returned to Peru to care for his mother. But prior to leaving Panamá, Mario introduced Efraín to Didacio de Cordoba, a master of color – also from Chiriquí – who often came to Briceno’s studio to drink and talk about art, people, music and spirituality. Efraín studied under Didacio, whom he credits with teaching him how to mix a deep range of interesting colors.
After learning techniques from these two masters, Efraín struck out alone, in search of his own style. Now, years later, Efraín dedicates his life to the creation of his art with the intention to evoke emotions that will inspire protection of the land, animals and peoples of the earth. He continues to expand his consciousness, which in turn evolves his artwork.
He has exhibited his art throughout the Chiriquí Province of Panamá and has been interviewed for local TV stations. His artwork decorates Art’s Cafe in Boquete, and has made its way to private residence throughout the U.S.
Efrain volunteers teaching art to local children and donates his time and artwork for charity purposes throughout the year.