Les rêves poussent dans ton jardin secret 2014 Technique mixte sur toile 100 x 100 cm
“The body is our general medium for having a world” Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Imagine for me this, fragments of our lives hanging onto our bodies, born out of dabs and streaks of color and line, Arnaud Franc has marked onto his figures an aura of the imperceptible, an ethereal realm rotating around our physical selves.
Fleshy frames balanced on weighty feet which carry with them elastic movement. As if to say, fear not the frailty of our thoughts and feelings as we have balanced them on robust bases that we have built for ourselves.
The figures are floating in air, blocks of color make up their true form, and only afterwards one sees scratched outlines of the human features; the energy and essence of them coming before their bodies. Faces almost unrecognizable, abstract and distorted would seem a good way to describe them, however this would imply that reality does not exist in them. Contrary to this observation I believe the distortion and abstraction is the only form in which the artist could show the complexity of his figures. The paint does not find itself constricted inside a form but is left to continuously move, circling the figures from left to right, as though in never-ending flow as it storms in and around our being.
Originally from Villefranche sur Saône, Arnaud Franc first took life-drawing lessons at the age of sixteen with Marc de Mikelis in Lyon. His art education also includes design and interior architecture, beginning at the Lyon School of Applied Arts and later on in Paris at the University of Graphic Arts (Academy Julian). Until this day his work is based on initial life drawing sketches of about 20-30 minutes, which are later, reworked without the presence of the model. The strongest of his works are those that have the least amount of reworking in them, as they show free and imediate results and the importance of instant impressions. Where the paintings get heavier and fuller, a touch of lightness is lost. Works which include more negative space also seem to be more successful, as it leaves his figures room to further attach onto themselves moments of their lives still to come.
At first glance one sees a strong connection between artist and model, however after speaking to the artist personally, he mentioned briefly that he sees himself in much of the work and creates a form of secondary self-portraiture. As Franc would speak, his lower body would remain still and firm while his upper body would flow with energetic expression, his erratic and passionate self, hidden inside a steady physical form, showing the contrast of stillness and movement, much like his painted figures as mentioned earlier.
Our existence may lie outside ourselves, but Arnaud Franc is showing us here that our bodies are open to the world. Allowing strokes of memory, energy, and actuality to cling onto our flesh as we pass by our lives unknowingly.
Written by: Shahane Hakobyan
Exposition du 6 février au 19 mars 2014
Mardi – samedi : 11h30 – 19h
GALERIE CLAIRE CORCIA
323, rue Saint-Martin / 75.003 PARIS / Tel : 09 52 06 65 88 ou 06 62 84 03 74 Métro : Arts et Métiers ou Réaumur Sébastopol / Parking St Martin à proximité