Writing about art is a very strange thing. You begin by evaluating an image, reflecting on how it makes you feel, what it makes you think of, and how can you relate it to that which has already been done, spoken about, and analysed over and over again in the past. Really art is there for one too many reasons to list, and its affect on people one to many to believe that a single review or interpretation is valid. However, I would like to share with you mine. As it happens to be with art, reality and imagination overlap, what we believe we see or even feel may float around in a space far beyond our understanding. What is most interesting is when art or one works in specific challenges the manner in which we may view it. For example, take artist Jean Jacque Salvador, a photographer who is discontent with the idea that his spectators view a piece solely of one time period, medium or idea. By the use of combined techniques he manipulates the purpose of the camera, to capture one moment in time, and instead recreates in his own manner something that already has been created.
As stated by the artist himself, “The works of the past permit me to conceive a new deductive image.” With an approach to photography in a modern and technical manner Salvador still manages to capture in his work a memory of the past. His inspirations are taken from paintings by old masters whose work many of us have awed over for years. On top of this the reintroduction of old painters and their masterpieces is quite a brave move to make, when art has become so thight-knit and repetitive, to create works based on the idea of recreation is a dark hole to step into. “Le Jardin” inspired by the “Garden of Earthly Delights”(ca. 1500–1505) by Hieronymus Bosch, “Dance I-II-III” inspired by Botticelli’s “The Three Graces”( ca. 1482), and the most powerful piece in the exhibition at Galerie Lélia Mordoch, “Crucifixion II” inspired by the famous triptych of Bacon, “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion” (c.1944).
Salvador has managed to represent a reality, a new image created with the use of models and figures that exist now. Reusing several models in much of the work, what really got to me was how lucky they were, outside of myself and everyone who has a chance to relive these paintings through a modern perspective, these models had been put through physically and psychologically scenes which had existed in another artists mind and filtered once again through a second. The sensitivity of the figures, the vulgarity of the contrast of dark and light, the blurred lines between the original painting and its photographic child. What occurs here is a work of art which has its own stories, yet carries with it a nimbus of the old, surrounding it or hidden deeply behind the thick ambrotype prints.
Written by: Shahane Hakobyan
Galerie Lélia Mordoch : 50, rue Mazarine 75006 Paris : http://leliamordochgalerie.com
Jean Jacque Salvador : http://www.jjsalvador.com/