There was at first, the will to tell a story in a non-linear way, by repeating, erasing, mixing identifications, representations, styles and genres within the pictorial space. The interconnections would be not anymore obvious or chronologic. We would go from an element to another, skip one or go backwards. It would be adorned with non-tangent elements, lies, overstatements and humor, to define a mysterious journey, a drama, and a reality.
The question of the "presence" in painting has been a turning point in my practice. I always looked for that frontal presence in my early works. It gives it a kind of iconic power. After 2015, while painting again and again the same character, I started to think this embodiment as a simple contraction/addition of line, texture and colors that produce a certain effect. I’ve spent the last four years focused, considering only those simple elements of painting: Gesture (line) — Texture (technic) — Weight (colors). It taught me a lot about the essence of painting and its materiality.
Initial impulse of the 2020 series was the movie by german filmmaker Barbet Schroeder: Obscured By Clouds (1972). I’m not really a cinephile, but I’ve tend to develop a taste for Lo-Fi imagery. They have their very special ways to stick better somewhere in my mind. Old books, 60’s or 70’s Encyclopedia, obscure record covers, and therefore movies…
The journey in the search for paradise of Viviane (Bulle Ogier) and its ultra-naïve approach to nature and hostile environment felt to me as a great metaphor & mythical potential — an Eve or Atana, a contemporary one — So I started to look for more stories of a girl trying to survive and experiences the wildness of Jungle, searching to precise that mythical feel. I came across this movie by Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Maria Scotese around the same period (1974): I Miracoli Accadono Ancora. Julianne Koepcke (Susan Penhaligon) is the sole survivor of 93 passengers the 24 december 1971. Her plane crashed in Peruvian Rain Forest - Flight Lansa 508-. Julianne was 17 and survived 10 days in the equatorial Forest.
I chosed to use both Julianne and Vivane in the iconology that would be featured in the paintings, and particularly that moment where they have an encounter with a snake. That is both a moment of great danger, but also a turning point into the understanding of being part of this nature for them, and allow us to empathised with it. Due to drugs in the case of Viviane, and due to the wounds for Julianne, it’s a graceful moment. The whole atmosphere of following something that seems pretty unreachable. the source of Rio Chibonia — the valley, Paradise.
They both have this “out of context” thing that I tried to transcribe with paint. An occidental Eve in Green Magic Eden Garden, that embodies the whole Humanity trying to manage its place within a wild world (Environnemental crisis, climate change)… That exact timing when, if it was all a dream,You would wake up, because you might just die here