|Today a small 30x24cm (11.0x9.5") study i was able to do in France as i was visiting my mother around two weeks ago, between two meal design, food shopping and cooking sessions, with two superimposed stretchers, one of the canvases having been cut slightly diagonally and removed. The color is the same everywhere, but on the canvas it is relatively thick, having been poured as in a bathtub, the frame having been reversed, and for the rest lightly brushed on the wood all around. Not unhappy with the little gizmo which could drive to bigger stuff; or not; but it has a certain hold; let's see.|
|Ce bleu n'est pas un bleu (cheers to Giotto and Nicolas Poussin), 163x163cm (64x64"), oil on canvas. As far as i'm concerned color doesn't refer to color but to a light. Color, in this context, is the expression which makes visible the light of that color brought to a certain point of intensity (of acuity or deflation, even of dullness or darkness). In any case it is an individual phenomenon, not a conceptual generality. But it's difficult to use such big words (blue, color, light, intensity and so on) without falling into the sprawling net of their symbolism.|
Painted and repainted and scrubbed and folded and unfolded 163x163cm (64x64"), acrylic both sides and oil on canvas comprising an external structuring independent of any compositional consideration, which ultimately resulted in a... composition, or almost, which is a bit disappointing and a kind of recycling, let's say. Actually it's not that i want to draw particular attention to this one, but you know, a little different from what Joseph would have said about, artists are a bit like dustmen: they take care of the garbage and make as much noise as possible (otherwise no one is interested).
|Somodem. I started the Bollards about three months ago, back from France. This resulted in twenty-seven paintings, mostly 60x40x3cm (23.6x15.7x1.2"), but as i didn't have the patience nor the desire to post them one after the other, it gave myself to the unfair, undemocratic, ruthless, painful, perilous, dramatic, horrible! and but healthy exercise of compressing the whole in order to show only nine pieces. Sanded or not acrylic or oil or sanded or not oil on acrylic or lacquer paint or pigment and acrylic on prepared or not and sanded (or not) painting wooden board or on canvas on painting wooden board. In this choice i retained different textures, which are closely related to the light that i proposed to extract from each color. The small yellow panel, 50x40cm (19.7x15.7"), took a month to complete and was extensively reworked, repainted, washed, sanded, etc., so that the light would be stable and the color wouldn't pop, wouldn't project itself outside its substrate. But of course the camera always overdoes it and, barking, pounced on the yellow, making it infinitely louder than it really is.|
|A bodily one, oil on pre-shaped door 205x85x4cm (80.7x33.5x1.6") and a bodily two, oil on canvas cut and glued on a wooden painting board, 50x40x4cm (20x15.7x1.6"), with four pics of a piece previously posted but of which i hadn't had the opportunity to show nor the thickness nor the backside nor the triangular cut of the canvas at the corners, intended to avoid an ugly folding and to hide nothing of the making and support (three superimposed stretchers). As for the "door", i had to repaint it three times, drowning the initial surface with turpentine in order to un-thicken and lighten the red to obtain the intensity and the color, the light i was looking for. As usual the intrinsic intensity of the color (this one) had to be manifest without exceeding or stifling the perceptible materiality of the physical components, by relying on their active collaboration (shade, opacity, permeability, hardness, texture, peculiarities and reactions to the paint) to reach the right level. The second interest of the thing, from my point of view, is that in the classical framework which is mine as a painter, this avoids as far as possible that the "painting" can be confused with the "image", even if i know that it is a sweet illusion since so many epigones produce merrily images of the abstract paintings from which they are inspired (which results in ruining retrospectively the efforts and aesthetic ambitions of their predecessors and paragons), but, hey, maybe i'm one of them, one is always someone's copycat.|
|Blue? In introduction to my upcoming Bollards: oil on painting wooden board 60x40x3cm (23.6x15.7x1.2"). I noticed a growing tendency to paint according to a "principle" of relative indifference. For example, here i desired a blue, but not necessarily quite this one; i aimed The blue of A blue. Also, considering the central vertical vaque darker shade, it was already there when i took the painting wooden board. I could have removed it by sanding or by applying a few coats of gesso to the surface, but i preferred to go with it and not thicken the blue to make it disappear either since the danger with color, and especially with blue, is that it slips into the Ineffable. Which allowed me in addition not to make a silly monochrome; or allowed me to come up with a failed monochrome. In any case the reaction of the pigment, of the paint to its support is decisive to get the color. I would be pleased to paint a chair; not to paint a chair on a canvas, but to paint a chair, and let it be a painting.|
|Untitled (the thaw), 163x163cm (64x64"), oil on gesso on lacquer paint on prepared inverted canvas. I was looking for the intensity. The intensity is not dependent on the darkness or the lightness of a color, but on how the light will ricochet on the surface by sinking more or less into the color before jumping outside. For my part, whether in weakness or in maximum, intensity is a particular strength and, so to speak, a particular degree of might. One can stay below this particular level, or exceed it. In both cases, the intensity is not reached. A flashy paint isn't intense in itself. Daylight bathes the surfaces evenly, but it is enough that the surfaces, or parts of these surfaces are not quite perpendicular to the source of the light (here the sun) for shades or shadows to occur. These grades and shadows are the condition of the visible, that is to say of the distance, of the gap which creates the object, even the thing.|
The form, 163x163cm (64x64"), acrylic on gessoed reversed canvas, October 2022. One color+one brush+one canvas+one coat=one painting, throwing the composition overboard in order to concentrate on the color and maintaining that one as close as possible to the medium. The organization of the surface is transformed into the occupation of the surface. The paint was applied in one time, not casually or virtuosically, but relatively mundanely. The outcome depends on the hand and of course also happens through the interplay between the color itself and the hue of the substrate, this linked to the relative transparency of the paint. Once the color is found the dice are rolled and it's all win or lose, as obviously the more the field is restricted, the more it widens, it is no longer a question of centimeters, but of millimeters and each decision becomes crucial so that the surface testifies exactly to the necessary information, no more no less, the simpler it is, the more complicated it is since nothing can be hidden or modified, i have one nut and one bolt in the tool box.
|The visible, 163x163x3cm (64x64x2"), 2022, paint on inverted prepared canvas. The question for me was whether i could allow myself to let the canvas live its life. We only see what we know beforehand, even if we don't know we know it. Giving oneself what one already has consists in recognizing it, that is, in seeing it. To see what one did not see. What occurs exists in relation to our capacity of recognition. The knowledge is founded by declaring itself, that is to say by delimiting its field and by enumerating its concepts, its tools. On this basis established a priori appear things that were not visible before. By extension: what is is, what isn't isn't yet. But as the English proverb says:The otter eats butter though oyster is better, thought the butler.|
|Die Washeit, 60x40x3cm (23.6x15.7x1.2"), paint on painting wooden board. I don't think anyone could tell by seeing this little thing how many days, layers of colors, hues and shades, among sandings and washings it took me to reach this ostensible mere turquoise surface, which photography cannot account for. I show it to you for what it's worth. Maybe it's not worth anything, i just did my best. So maybe my best isn't worth much after all. In the meantime, it continues to question me... The condition, 163x44x23cm (64x17x10"), acrylic on prepared inverted canvas. With the aim of ballasting and stabilizing the surface while preserving the thinness of the material, also hoping that during the second phase the rather liquid acrylic i use would not cause the thing to warp and crinkle too much, i applied on the back a coat of epoxy. Three days later, after a complete drying of the resin, as i was painting the front left to right and top to bottom in four approximate portions with a blend of primary yellow, Payne's gray, English red and turquoise blue, the canvas began to curl on itself from the top, then from bottom and as i didn't want to stretch or fix it, i let it do as it pleased and it closed itself completely in two parts. Then, unrolling it, i saw that the thing had warped and wrinkled and creased and twisted like an old parchment... in short precisely what i wished to avoid. But instead of angrily throwing the work away in the yard trash can with shouts of rage (no, just kidding, i throw the works away stilly, silently and methodically), i let time pass over and rolled it the other way, also in two parts. Last pic for a more decent light. Daylight.|
|Surfaces (a study), 31x18x26cm (initially 60x60cm) and 112x82x43cm (initially 163x163cm). One is leaning against the wall and arches its back (ceci n'est pas un rocher), the other is taking off and detaching itself from it (ceci n'est pas un papier froissé). In both cases, two painted canvases partially folded and or bended. One shows its back and the other its belly, partly. In both cases, canvas, that is to say the enigma of a double surface of which one is chosen to be the right side and the other the reverse side, traditionally the one of which nothing is said and which is not shown. Talking about outer surface and internal surface seems to me like an easy solution that doesn't lead to much. What is the surface of a roll of canvas when you buy it? Is a folded or bended canvas surface still a surface? Isn't a canvas surface of one square meter a surface of two square meters? If folding the canvas strictly, crushing the folds, do i get several planes or several surfaces delineated by straight lines, or a single surface? As soon as one gets into the question of what is a surface, everything becomes complex. But it seems like i can't ignore questions the materials and tools i use ask me, because the result comes from them as much as from me.|
|Color bodies. The act, 100x80x4cm (39x31.5x1.6"), oil on canvas on stretcher, and The equity, acrylic on and in inverted bended canvas 170x170x23cm (67x67x9"). Please excuse the poor quality of the pics, i had to shot under neon: no proper daylight at that time as usual in Berlin in winter... One surface is stretched, the other isn't; one is therefore shaped by an perceptible but invisible conventional holder, the other is structured by its own capacity to resist and surrender to the constraint of gravity; one denies terrestrial attraction by means of a device supposed to make it float plane upon plane on the two-dimensional space of a metaphorically infinite wall, the other concretely exhibits its capacity for reaction; one tends towards the image, the other towards the volume, and both are paintings. And besides that don't worry if i post a little too much in the coming days, sorry, i try to convince IG that i'm not quite dead yet, and that they can stop distributing me less and less. I'll be back at a reasonable (fair) pace as soon as i see it's no use.|
|The flow, 250x180cm (98x71"), paint on thin poplar plate. There are pieces that require a certain weight, a certain size, a certain scale, a certain volume. These characteristics are inscribed in the course of the work, that is to say that they result from previous works whose memory is activated and determines certain characteristics of certain works to come. No more in art than elsewhere there is chance, this word coming from the belief, therefore from the ignorance where one is to distinguish the causes, the preconditions and the consequences. The flow belongs probably to the archaic family of polychrome sculpture. Here, red on green.|
|The tip, 100x80x4cm (39x31.5x1.6"), oil on canvas on stretcher. And now, in order to continue a little dialogue started with Philipp Donald Göbel (@philippdonald) and John Ferro (@john_ferrostudio), these few lines about captions and comments. One interest of accompanying the pics of a piece of art on IG with a few words lies in my opinion in the fact that words pledge the person who writes them. By writing a few words the artist takes his or her responsibilities (since, unless playing in politics, one doesn't like to declare something and do the opposite). By involving that way, he or she is committed to keeping his word, which has the effect of restricting his or her subjective feeling of absolute independence, since this produces constraints. But these constraints, far from curtailing his or her "freedom", give him or her the tools to overcome his or her subjective frame. Sometimes. By giving yourself, so to speak, "duties", by agreeing to say: "I did this rather than that because and so on", he or she agrees to give up the crown of "natural genius" (Wunderkind). The consequence of which may be to allow us to reach an adult level, by dispossession of oneself and the abandonment of any claim to this imaginary universality which is characteristic of the desire of the child. Another aspect is that below and beyond the relevant and constructive comments that a relevant and constructive caption often arouses, we receive in return, as coming from the outside, our own feedback from our own shared words, what will possibly whet our décisions to come, unbeknownst to us, by eliminating our weakest points. Maybe. All this raising only one mere facet of a complex issue. But some will have probably already noticed that i managed to avoid saying anything about "The tip" this way, eh eh.|