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A Place Other than HereNaudline Pierre

May 15, 2024

Whether painting in her Brooklyn studio or roaming amidst the medieval artworks at The Met Cloisters, artist Naudline Pierre reframes traditional representations of religion and spirituality, finding freedom in a world of her own making—where the airborne and earthbound coexist and cooperate. Growing up in a family with strong religious beliefs, Pierre’s connection to fantastical realms and celestial beings was developed at a young age. In the studio, the artist connects with the characters who populate her spiritual world, telling their stories as both a creative and emotional outlet. “Thinking about flying and burning, and destroying and creating, and loving and hating and raging—I can just do all of that in the studio, and I can do that through the stories that these characters are allowing me to tell,” says the artist. In her painting, I, A Terror Loosed Upon Your Heels (2022), Pierre depicts her central figure soaring across the sky atop a chariot pulled by winged beings, marking a turning point in the artist’s practice, where her central “protagonist” comes into her own power.

At the Met Cloisters, the artist finds inspiration in medieval artworks and their unique vision of the world. “I think what attracts me to that time period is the fact that these are very much European males, and they probably weren’t thinking about someone like me when they were making the work,” says Pierre. “I get to take whatever I want from history and reframe it all to include what I want to see.” The apocalyptic images, wondrous beasts, and angelic beings that are found throughout The Met Cloisters are direct visual and spiritual antecedents to the work she creates today. While she draws upon the visual and thematic traditions of these works, the artist’s universe is freed from a strictly religious context, embracing change, multiplicity, and mystery. After years spent exploring the world she captures in her paintings, Pierre has come to learn from the characters who inhabit it and, like them, finds ways to embrace her own desire for transformation and transcendence.

More information and credits


Director & Producer: Haimy Assefa. Executive Producer: Tina Kukielski. Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Editor : Haimy Assefa, Sutton Raphael. Cinematography & Sound: Sutton Raphael. Additional Camera: Haimy Assefa. Assistant Curator: Jurrell Lewis. Associate Producer: Andrea Chung. Color Correction & Sound Mix: Sutton Raphael. Design & Graphics: Chips. Animation: Lulu Jiang. Music: Music Vine. Artwork Courtesy: Naudline Pierre. Thanks: Sascha Feldman, Joe Fusaro, James Cohan Gallery, The Met Cloisters, Rebecca Schear

© Art21, Inc. 2024. All rights reserved.

New York Close Up is made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Every Page Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Henry Nias Foundation, and individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Naudline Pierre

Naudline Pierre was born in 1989 in Leominster, MA, and currently lives and works in New York City, NY. The artist received her BFA from Andrews University and later her MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Through painting and sculpture, Pierre crafts an alternate reality filled with burning landscapes and otherworldly creatures. Drawing inspiration from personal history, religious iconography, and medieval and Renaissance works of art, the artist reframes tradition through a more secular and personal lens, centering themes of community, transcendence, and transformation.

“Sometimes I come into the studio and nothing’s happening, and I have to sit and stare and wait for these characters to allow me in, and these characters give me the okay. A lot of the time I feel myself asking them to make themselves known to me.”

Naudline Pierre