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GEORGE VALRIS 

(1950- )

Though he says he is not a believer in voodoo, the Catholic George Valris and his young assistants at his atelier in Port-au-Prince create elaborate sequinned and beaded squares of cloth called voodoo flags. Born in Cavaillon and educated in nearby Les Cayes, he worked from 1986 to 1988 as a stevedore on the cruise ship Vera Cruz which sailed internationally. Upon returning to Port-au-Prince in 1988, he opened a workshop making functional objects in straw and sisal. Later Valris became a sequin artist to support his growing family. “George is the only artist who uses fine fishing line, monofilament, instead of cotton or polyester thread, ensuring the longevity of his sequin works,” writes lina Girouard in her book “Sequin Artists of Haiti.” Valris is also noteworthy for taking the textile medium into evermore imaginative and painterly directions.