My identity and my personal esthetic are slightly out of sync with the world around me. I express my ambiguous personality through mixed techniques, based on the exploration of two mediums, photography and painting. The overall approach of this investigation reflects my ambivalence.

 

I – Pictorial statement…

 

At the origin of my painting is the work of my principal teacher Eric Brault whose art influenced me a lot, and whose work informed the development of my own language. More broadly, I am predominantly sensitive to abstract expressionism.

 

I really like working on Kraft. Close to watercolor, my work on kraft is fluid, at least the first sessions. At a certain stage, I glue it on canvas and finish my work.

"To privilege the freedom of gesture is essential. »

In 2019 I discovered (by necessity) that doors make good supports, rigid and light. Even if the dimensions are limited, I get different sizes by changing their length. My krafts have found a new setting that I find interesting today.

 

In contrast to these Krafts, my "Naked Walls" series consists of canvases whose surface is first altered by a mortar that I handmake in which I add female hormones (estrogens in gel). I don't really like to use ready-made, industrial products, which are too normalizing in my opinion.

This alteration of the surface is a preparatory work where the gesture is also very important. The imprint left by my tools and my various interventions plays a determining role for the following, the work of the color, and on the final result. Recently I started to apply various objects and materials in the still fresh mortar. Trying to bring the flat surface closer to a third dimension, bas-relief, perhaps even sculpture. 

 

The ingredients that make up the base of these mortars are chosen for their granularity. Their provenance is also important. From my years as land surveyor, I keep the pleasure of the fields a habit: In anticipation of new canvases, I collect sand, granite powders and other gravel and pebbles. Back in the workshop, I filter, sort, index and select my components according to the effect I wish to obtain. I appreciate this process which is just as important as the final result.

 

My “Naked Walls” series is the result of mixed techniques through which I try to understand the role, the mechanisms, the effect they exert on my overall work in the long term.

This series suggests the emotional and sensitive obstacles I meet when expressing my identity. They present a restrained palette of color on highly textured surfaces made with granite powder or other materials.

 

Most of them are made of two different canvases to express the duality of my gender. I call them "Deep_Tychs”, a reference to the Deep House music flowing sometimes in my atelier.

For this work, I use house painter tools and techniques of that are dear to me, echoing my father's original trade.

 

The other series complement my “walls” by representing the idea of crossing over the spaces that prevent me from reaching my feminine side. Sensual and transparent, fluid acrylics on paper let me execute this work more spontaneously.

 

 

II – From film to digital…

 

Transition / Transistor

At 14 years old in 1982 I received my first SLR camera(Wow!).

Being a technical professional, I naturally liked the cameras, the darkroom development, the historical dichromate process (everything that is dangerous and forbidden, I love it!) and gum arabic (because it is used in the making of my own watercolors).

 

Geek…but not too much

Since 1984 I have been using computers, which are omnipresent in design offices and surveyors' offices. It was at the heart of my work, from measuring instruments to 3D modelling. In parallel, and since then, I also use it to compose my music.

Thus very comfortable with computers, I was quickly seduced by the digital photography that appeared during my years at the Academy. I then had the idea to re-use the digital images of my painting that were initially taken for its documentation, and to introduce them partially in my figurative photography (ezpz!).

 

Trial & error

Those works are based solely on the use of computer tools and techniques. They gave birth to my "Hybrids", a series in which the relevance of my painting disappears (ooops!). However, this attempt to provide an answer to the questions of landscape representation changed my way of thinking about my photography and changed my interests in what I wanted to show.

 

« Refusing any standardization, I came to take photos both with and without lens ».

 

Fed up!

But the digital race leads me more broadly to question the future of ordinary photography, the one I was in. Fearing to lock myself into a certain standardization, my nonconformism dictated that I break this trajectory. Like a revolt against this apparent modernity, I took the lens out of my camera body to make it a kind of pinhole depriving forms of separation. I add stretch film to it, diffracting the incoming light in a random way.

 

« To take a picture without a lens, I transform my basic camera by using a lens cap and covering the large hole drilled into it with plastic wrap. As objects lose their real appearance, I forget the immediate subject and can fully concentrate on light and shapes. Photographs taken with a lens serve as a figurative context to a part of my pictorial work ».

 

I know, that’s when I should have consulted a psychiatrist…

With this radical gesture (we can be locked up for less than that) my attention was no longer focused on the constituent elements of the scene. Suddenly, voluntarily in this minimalism (my straitjacket), I was forced to rely on the only elements that reached the viewfinder, the form and the available light.

 

Brainstorming… (3 times)!

Without contesting the digital tool (although…), but by containing it, I began to solicit photography differently, its artistic capacity to translate what I felt, and the dynamic by which it was transformed. Going against the tide is my attitude by nature. Here, it allows me to oppose the increasingly "perfect" images of photography devoid of inherent figurative elements, of reading markers, and to provoke the future of the legitimate status of artistic photography (Is that all?).

 

No Fear, Bring it!

While keeping this technical language, I try to understand and translate the essence of an ordinary situation but also to remove any obvious rational meaning from my digital images. The goal is to offer simple, freely readable imagery, and to leave room for more subjective interpretation.

My "Free_Lens Project" series started in 2010 is the (terrible) consequence of this.


 

The construction

Reminiscences of a past in civil engineering always find their place in my arrangements. Geometry retains an important place in my pictorial work. I like those compositional elements that, unlike my pinhole photographs, separate space. Divided this way, I understand better where I stand. I need this fragmentation to be comfortable and reassured.

My work begins with a structure, which I sometimes break free from. However, and despite this desire of emancipation, in a concern to harmonize the whole, this is what conditions the pictorial future. Thus, geometry, structure and harmony are protagonists subject to the constraints of space, balance and meaning.

Hypothetical views of everyday life in a distant, industrial and urban world are painted in a recurring theme. This model is based on repetition which generates variants.

 

Guided by a commanding desire to devote my time to the reconstruction of my body of work, I create and attempt to produce work that is sincere and coherent, aligned with and dictated by my new life.



 

My current work is on a series of lacquers on large format, “Deep_Tychs” on canvases and doors, and on a photographic series from my time in Honolulu.

 
WP_20180706_07_55_56_Rich__highres.short