Self-portrait as Gilvus Galbinus Cesius; The Bliss of Lovers; Frida Kahlo in Arizona
Acrylics on canvas, 80x80cm.
The celebration of the reopening of the G.P.O.A.in the Wolubilis complex, as Artothèque, an exhibition was held for a week-end in the lobby of the theatre.
I took part with three recent paintings from the série "Travels and Encounters".
A good exhibition which did raise in me some thoughts about the importance -and non-importance- of space for painters.
As it were the exhibition was decided and set up quite rapidly, and the constraints of the place -few hanging profiles- were such that somme of the paintings ended up just laid down on the floor. Such was the case for mine.
It must be said that a priori that is not the best way to present my paintings. They demand good conditions of visibility, like -besides a lighting of wide spectrum and sufficient intensity- to be placed more or less at eye's height. The floor is a physical liability : what moves on it -feets, children, vaccums, etc.- we do not really control. But then conditions are not always ideal, I do not care for the persona of the megalomaniac and intransigent artist, and I do not believe in the glorification or painting by space.
Most interesting here is the matter of the scenography of paintings. We all know examples of contemporary art whose museal relationship with architectural space is the core of the meaning, the painting in itself being of no great pictural import. There are good examples (McCracken commes tomind), and there is the overinflation of size and space which too often is accepted as monumentality.
Some reactions here showed how common is a notion of paintings akin to how to live with a good book : as a table piece ; you are not supposed to enter it, it won't make you think, only the effect matters.
Needless to say that my idea of the image I produce is as a parallel to a book you have to read to enjoy and know. I do not care much for space; a painting is a universe tethered to the world by cultural and not spatial relationships; architectural space is just a form of inflation of pictural void. Thus I was rather happy that their supine posture did not prevent my paintings from being appreciated as what they are intended to be, which is a concrete meditation on colour. The relationship to the body is in the right scale of gesture and attention.