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HECTOR HYPPOLITE

(1894 -1948)

The patriarch of Haitian art, Hector Hyppolite had a father and grandfather who were voodoo priests, so it was natural when he became one, too. This native of St. Marc boarded a freighter near the end of World War I and visited Africa and Cuba, where he worked cutting sugar cane. The man who once painted floral decorations on chamber pots had a short-lived, meteoric career of just three years, launched with the discovery of doors he had painted on a bar in Montroyis. Hyppolite joined the Centre d'Art in 1945, producing hundreds of paintings, but less than 100 exist today. Using his fingers, chicken feathers and brushes, he created imaginative canvases voodoo scenes, zombies, still lifes, and a pantheon of voodoo gods in a style beyond imitation.