Julio Balan is one of the many fine artisans who create steel oil drum art in Croix-des-Bouquets, a northern suburb of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
Born in 1970, Julio is considered one of the most talented metal sculptors on the island. Many young artists began their apprenticeships in his workshop.
Julio and his brothers Jonas, Joel, and Romel were taught by their close neighbor, Darius Gary. In their lakou (shared compound), the Balans often work together to produce art from metal drum pieces. Like many others, Voodoo influences their craft. La Sirene, the mermaid, is the most notable. Trees of life are also prominent in many of Julio's pieces. Lately, he has been experimenting with "tall skinnies," disproportionately long and thin figures performing the activities of daily life.
Julio is married with six children. His work continues to gain an international reputation.