Vickie Pierre: Be My Herald of What’s to Come

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Turquoise wall sconce with black riding crops emanating from it. Small figures are installed on the sconce. Vinyl lettering reads "I Shouldn't Have Let You Conquer Me so Sweetly, Now I Can't Let Go Of This Dream."

Vickie Pierre, "I Can’t Say No To You (Good Enough)," 2014, resin wall plaques, plastic leaves, Avon glass perfume bottles, wooden shelf sconces and ship bookends, jewelry, and hand-strung beads, mounted on shaped MDF panel, latex paint, and vinyl lettering, 84 x 108 x 5 inches. Courtesy the Artist and Fredric Snitzer Gallery

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This exhibition of Haitian-American artist Vickie Pierre’s assemblages is both a memorial for what has passed and a desire for what is to come. Interested in studying how one goes about structuring their identity, Miami-based artist Pierre pays homage to the French and larger European architectural design that influenced Haitian culture while also subverting it. By employing the “beautiful grotesque” Pierre crafts aesthetically pleasing vignettes that, once the nuanced details are considered, reveal a deeper truth.

 

Certain objects are repeated throughout the exhibition: glittering plastic beading, vintage Avon perfume bottles shaped like women in period skirts, wall sconces, galleon ships, and faux foliage. While maintaining a base sentiment of whimsical décor, filtered through Pierre’s personal history, we now see interconnectedness (beads), the unattainable female body (perfume bottles), and slave ships (galleons). Numerous fractured identities are part of the “beautiful grotesque.”

 

For the first time seen altogether, Pierre’s assemblages reveal that there is not one but several narratives and that one’s identity can be contingent rather than fixed. As Pierre has said, she resolves to “maintain the journey toward a future of transformative and tangible change.”

 

Vickie Pierre has been commissioned to create two murals at the entrance to the Museum in the Perper Courtyard.  Procession, A Sort of Homecoming (after Kentridge + U2) is a parade of figures dancing across a decorative background that echoes the feminine forms seen in this exhibition.

 

Kelli Bodle

Assistant Curator

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Installation Images

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