More and more my paintings have an air of re-routed fairy-tales. These made-up stories, inhabited by well-defined characters are given a contemporary spin and explore themes that I hope resonate with our current times. Set in a stage-like environment, figures emerge in a mise-en-scène that alludes to psychological interior dramas. Often tinted with humor, it is a world where childhood and adulthood seem endlessly intertwined. Sincere, unyielding and unsettling, these tableaux leave a vivid record. The actors, rich and iconic, entrenched in their dreamlike reality, vibrate with fear, wonder, surprise, longing, uncertainty, hope.
When I create a painting, I’m not looking for a coherent narrative. I prefer elusiveness, mystery. It’s a search for the point of reunion between the universal and the individual. I surrender to emotions and to the complex experience of the painting craft, taking these invisible matters and thrusting them into being, into physicality with each mark of the brush. Somehow, as time is stopped by this incredible process, an emotional sense is given, disclosed by a myriad of possible interpretations, an invitation extended to the viewer to create meaning.
Increasingly, I find myself looking to the recent past for the sources of my iconography. I’m tapping in the luscious brushstrokes of the golden age of illustration. I’m also searching for inspiration in the shaky patented magic of traditionally made cartoons (dessin animé). These are not merely appropriated but reenacted (with make-up and costumes). Tales, subverted, fractured, open-ended, re-formed, re-imagined, given a new life, a new voice to comment on contemporary events. And so the past merges with the present, high art and popular culture mesh, embrace and speak volumes!
This diversity of references is given an echo in the representation of space. Verisimilitude is at times breached. Gone is the box-shaped, unifying perspective. Objects, decors and sometimes even people lose their depths, tonality gives way to hard flat colors. Space folds and unfolds between the second and the third dimensions. While it is important for me to draw the viewer in, I also relish sometimes in cutting the illusion open: the artifice is exposed, believability dies and a few inches away is born again! At the core of these explorations are questions of existence and identity.
I’m a storyteller working with the absence of words. A grassroots revisionist of my personal history. With an attitude that oscillates between fascination and criticism, I strive to create dark and comical fables, that I hope, are relevant. Improbable combinations that emotionally ring true, affirmative expressions of the human experience.