Americana Dreaming, 2020, Acrylics on board, barbed wire, 27 x 27 in.


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. 

Categories: Artists