Christophe Avella-Bagur, Face F(S)111 Tribute To Modern Time, oil on canvas, 230x160 cm, 2010
Galerie Richard in Paris is delighted to present a new one-man-show of the work of Christophe Avella-Bagur from 8 October to 19 November 2011, in which we will show new paintings in his "Face FS" series.
On an ethereal background of white light Avella-Bagur shows us archetypal images of male and female bodies on which he paints a second layer of portraits in bright flesh tones that never sit easily in or on the model's outline. The two portraits never coincide exactly, and in each painting the artist creates new juxtapositions. First he paints a smooth, "clean" picture that answers our expectations of mass-production, and then he gives us portraits of faces disturbingly distorted in the grotesque manner of a picture by El Greco or Goya.
Christophe Avella-Bagur gives us an uncompromisingly contemporary version of painting, which while remaining firmly figurative, gives us a fresh look at human identity as depicted by the virtual world.
"I'll be quite straight with you - I don't do science fiction, I don't paint robots. When I paint I have in mind a long line of great artists who went before me, artists who affect my daily life, like old friends with whom I have a spiritual, even a mystical relationship. I paint people, because our human condition is the only subject that really matters.
I don't paint fantasies that only I can pretend to understand - no. My works illustrate today's conflict between the standardized view of we humans, of the way we're expected to think and live our lifestyles, and a human being who is still able to make his own choices, who is unique, who despite his flaws and weaknesses can still assert his individuality. My work combine two worlds, a world in which humans are soulless mass-produced creatures, all the same and therefore worthless and without purpose, and an another world, in which individuals, in spite of their weaknesses and clumsy efforts, are still able to make up their own minds and shape their own destinies.
That's why my works show two sides of a struggle, because it's a desperate and bitter struggle, and neither side has won yet". (Christophe Avella-Bagur).
Avella-Bagur has never limited himself to canvases or painting, as he has shown in is performances at some of his exhibitions, and this time he will be showing a sculpture, a kind of shrine he has created, containing familiar elements of his work - two gray metal skulls illuminated by multicolored lights - and the subject he feels so passionately about (the struggle between individuality and standardization - the image of the skulls being repeated like mass-produced objects by mirrors inside the shrine), which makes this sculpture a kind of link between all the other works.
Christophe Avella-Bagur will be giving a one-man-show in the first quarter of 2012 at the Villa Tamaris Art Center in La Seyne Sur Mer, and another exhibition at Galerie Richard in New York in June 2012.