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Unconventional Portraits of Historical Icons. Distorted, decomposed, disfigured by painting: the dawn of the idols.
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I worked a lot on portraiture these last years. Recently, that interest has become more experimental. All sorts of unprecedented distortions have appeared in my portraits. The art of portraiture is subjected to many visual conventions. I never had so much fun breaking them!
I usually start to paint with an idea in mind. But this idea, even if it’s good and well executed, often seems dull. It lacks energy. So, I destroy it. I scrape, I erase, I cover up with the background color, I add in thick impastos of various colors with the knife and I move them around almost randomly. At one point, even though I have the strong impression of loosing time and material, something emerges from that failure. All my efforts to revive something yet unknown seem to take shape. Some kind of statement emerges with an unexpected authority. Usually, there’s a strangeness to it. It’s almost grotesque. It begs me for acceptance. Yet it’s so far away from the original idea that sometimes it frightens me and the resemblance to the subject of the portrait becomes almost accidental. Nevertheless, there’s a life to it and that’s what truly matters. There’s a powerful breath running through it and it asks me to underline it, to nuance it and to polish it.
This very fragile and risky thing that happens while I paint and that pushes me in areas of total despair and wonder, that’s what painting is to me.
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The materials I use to paint are traditional materials proven to last for centuries by the tradition of oil painting on canvas. I paint on Belgian linen canvas and I mainly use extra-fine oil color (either ground in walnut or linseed oil) by Kama Pigments. My primer is also Kama Pigments' acrylic gesso. Visit http://www.kamapigment.com/index_en.html to learn more about my materials.
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I'm organizing a draw! The prize is a print of your choice, size 13"X19", on matt, acid-free, 100% cotton Hahnemühle paper. All you have to do is put your name and address down there and pray. Good luck!
The draw will take place Sunday March 8th at 10:00 am Eastern Time. The name of the winner will be announced on my Facebook fan page.