Coeur Noir Exhibit Opens in the EMU

The “Coeur Noir” (or “Black Heart”), an exhibit that features the art of Seth Pierce, opened Monday and is on display in the Buzz Gallery at EMU.

The exhibit, which will be up until Dec. 5,  showcases the theme of the “art of the macabre,” and highlights some of Pierce’s most distinguishing work like “Study of Picasso’s ‘La Cestina,’” a painting that fuses both Picasso and Pierce’s stylistic approach.

“I think it shows my style over time developing a lot. I was inspired by personal past narratives mixed with art history,” Pierce said, pointing out that he draws from influences such as Ralph Steadman, Leonard Baskin and the skater street culture.

All of the pieces were created over the course of only two years and highlight Seth Pierce’s work over many mediums, which include Pierce’s most recent interest — print — as seen in “Moti Gaj Meets Ravana,” a detailed depiction of the Hindu legend.

Memorable pieces from the gallery depict photographs of deceased rats and a print displaying knives reminiscent of Warhol’s pop art, apt entries in the mythos of macabre which has been a relevant theme in art for thousands of years. Yet despite the archaic anchor of the theme, Pierce provides a modern approach, emphasizing the relevance of death and disfigurement in our daily lives through recognizable images.

“Every piece has weird things I like and dislike,” Pierce said. “It’s good to see [my stuff] in frames though.” a product that is all thanks to the curator, Savannah Euler.

“Coeur Noir” was the brainchild of Euler, a junior at the UO and Buzz/Aperture Gallery Laboratory Coordinator. Euler said that the display is a personal interest of hers.

“There is something about the pieces that is really relatable, yet wonderfully dark,” said curator Savannah Euler. “I just wanted to throw my ultimate show and the timing is great for Halloween.”

Euler was given free range on the pieces she chose and the result is a compilation of the truth in the dark and grim, a great feat for a curator who has produced only two exhibits.

Visitors of the opening reception spoke highly of the artist and the exhibit.

“the dark disposition often shown in the pieces is liberating,” university freshman Bobby Mink said.

“He’s an amazing illustrator that uses monsters allegorically and also hides behind them,” said Jesica Freedman, another university student.

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