Marc Séguin, ‘J.James’, Atelier-Galerie A.Piroir

About Marc Séguin

Using his color blindness to powerful effect, Marc Séguin works primarily with charcoal, producing monochromatic, photorealistic drawings on canvas, overlaid with sparingly, pointedly applied oil paint and mixed materials like ash, feathers, and tar. Arguing that “art has a duty to speak about the era that it’s produced in; it has to be a witness of the present times,” Séguin makes work about thorny, pressing contemporary issues—like environmental degradation, religious extremism, and power imbalances—and the resonance of the past in the present. In Civil Death (2010), for example, he re-created a 19th-century photograph of dead Civil War soldiers with stunning verisimilitude and painted a garish, bright yellow sun in the low sky. Séguin’s addition of the sun is flippant and absurd, suggesting that our present behavior mocks the lessons of the past.

Canadian, b. 1970, Ottawa, Canada, based in New York, New York