Karl Jean-Guerly Pétion 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.

[caption: Karl Jean-Guerly Pétion, Still from Fleur façade electro stat]



This acclaimed weekly lecture series brings in artists, designers, and critical theorists from around the world. All lecture presentations are held in Art Building Room #133, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, unless otherwise indicated.


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  • Erik Ludwig Johnson

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