Karl Jean-Guerly Petion
Artist, musician, photographer with experience in radio, literature, video, and movies.
Haitian born multi media artist lives and works in Culver City, CA. Mr. Petion grew up in Port-au-Prince, both his father Jean Mari and his uncle Victor were photographers. Victor built his own photo lab. His late uncle Kerl Petion whom he considers the only successful artist of the family had his own commercial graphic studio. Kerl was a leading and active graphic artist in Haiti circa late 1960’s-70’s-80′.
His father Jean Mari who worked as news editor in radio broadcasting always gave him drawing paper color pens, pencils watercolor paints aquarelle, occasionally along with books and other educational literature a record of spoken fairy tales an Asterix or Tintin comic strip etc. At schoolyard competitions, to really draw Bruce Lee with a pair of Nunchucks or Lucky Luke shooting his shadow to Spiderman casting his web, Mr. Petion taught himself how to draw.
He was impressed by Maxo and artist Doudou Jean-Phillip Moiseau, two boyhood friends in Petion-Ville who used to make real flying kites, cars, (tap-taps) and other functioning wooden metal toys, hunting tools etc… He also remembers a gentleman who used to paint out side in the yard at Chez Madame Sejour. That particular gentleman actually sold his work to galleries and tourists in Port-au-Prince. Nicole Dantes a friend of the family worked at different art Galleries during the period Mr. Petion went to grammar school in Port-au-Prince.
With his brother Hervay, they visited her at these different locations on numerous occasions. At these collector houses and art galleries, the paintings, sculptures and airport art he saw upon visiting Ms. Dantes made a tremendous impression on him. He received a how to draw in 3-D book from Rene Durocher who became his art Jedi. Mr. Durocher also a sculptor helped him with his drawing techniques. His art horizon stopped at pictures of masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel, The Mona Lisa, or work by Picasso, Dali and other contemporary and modern artists he saw in encyclopedic books or cinema about culture and art. He never saw Rothko or Jasper Johns at the museum growing up in his own country.
After immigrating to America in1983, while preparing for his GED he enrolled in the Saturday Art program at Cooper Union New York City where he took his first life drawing class. In 1987 Mr. Petion moved to Kansas City to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Kansas City Art Institute Kansas City Missouri. In California he studied at the California Institute of the Arts to earn a MFA in 1993.
Karl Jean-Guerly Petion recently contributed sounds and music for Inside Darkness a film by Dominic De Lay. www.InsideDarkness.com .
His last project included Le Momo Sonic, an international art and music project started in Los Angeles in collaboration with Michael Esther.
Exhibitions Nov 17 2007 Fluxco Los Angeles, CA Group Show
April 3 2008 Corridor 2122 Fresno, CA Group Show
MFA 1993 California Institute of the Arts Valencia CA
BFA 1990 Kansas City Art Institute Kansas City MO