New York

Katelyne Alexis, Ayiti malad (Haiti Is Sick), 2017, metal, plastic, tires, dolls. Installation view.

“PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince”

Pioneer Works

Katelyne Alexis, Ayiti malad (Haiti Is Sick), 2017, metal, plastic, tires, dolls. Installation view.

When the Haitian artist Myrlande Constant was a teenager in Port-au-Prince, she went to work with her mother in a factory making elaborately beaded wedding dresses. When she left, she began using the beads to make extremely unorthodox versions of drapo vodou—the small embroidered and sequined flags that have been produced in Haiti for generations, as both religious objects and artworks for sale. Constant’s imagery drew equally from vodou mythology, current events, and popular culture, and her densely textured flags are large, more like quilts, crammed with figures, scenarios, and decorative elements, all competing to tell a story. She is one in a number of contemporary practitioners who have revolutionized Haitian drapo by entering what had been, until the 1990s, a field completely dominated by men. 

“PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince” at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works

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