Jean-Guerly Petion

Overview

Jean-Guerly Pétion was born in Haiti and studied at the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and at CalArts (MFA). His paintings confront emotionally charged first- and third-world class issues via theoretical texts and compelling images. His art has been featured in the California African American Museum and the 18th Street Art Center. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California. 

Biography

Jean-Guerly Petion uses symbols from Haiti, his country of birth, as well as imagery suggesting the extremes of wealth and poverty which exist there. His paintings confront emotionally charged first- and third-world class issues via theoretical texts and compelling images, such as that of his black man vaulting skyward over a strand of barbed wire. Often quoting theoretical texts drawn from Freud, Lacan, Deleuze and others, he refuses any simplistic reading of Voudoun symbology: Marcel Duchamp is stepping on Jean-Michel Basquiat! Petion’s depiction of power plays directly invokes the contemporary art scene itself in assemblage and mixed-media sculpture and painting. The work issues demands for a new reading of gods and commoners, hope and despair. Pétion holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and an MFA from CalArts. 

Works
Exhibitions