Fabrication of dreams
“Painting for me is an act of appropriating reality. I press this wonderful and stupid world to try and extract some of its poetry and absurdity.
I work with mental images, with urgency of transcribing them onto the canvas. As in any translation, this path is not linear but it’s precisely the distortion produced by the gesture of painting that interests me.
My paintings evoke worlds without humans or human-related objects. Their atmosphere could be post-human, or pre-human, insofar as the human presence is only announced without ever becoming a clear visual utterance.
I never had any curiosity for religion and haven’t received religious education, and yet my work is influenced by biblical images : apocalypse, downfall, apparitions, divine lights, heaven and hell. In contrast perhaps to those archetypes I never stopped referring to the cultural images that marked my teenage years: urban culture and its graffitis, advertising, comic strips etc. Those are present above all in my approach to color, volume and texture.”
Julien C.’s works are scenery of dreams. They rest on the distinct porosity between the decorative (associated with the interior decoration and graphic design) and the aesthetic-involving new sensible forms and their experience.
The influence of patterns is made explicit. The pictorial motif is never staged, inscribed in a narrative or dramatized. There are no characters or elements that could interact with one another. There are motifs that repeat infinitely, just like patterns on wallpapers. However, instead of being the consequence of industrial reproduction, the repetition here becomes a pictorial strategy in its own right. Painter’s repeated gestures manifest themselves in the subtle differences between the repeated patterns. These slippages give force and movement to the paintings. Movement of particular kind, as these paintings don’t allow for temporal development. The patterns are just there, repeating, from top to bottom, from left to right.
What does move is the volume and the texture, achieved through « highliting », technique borrowed from graffitis. This is what gives depth without creating perspective per-se. The effect is one of temporal suspension that could touch on an instant, as much as on the eternity. And indeed, the artist himself refers to his fascination with eternal recurrence and a possibility of renewal. Circularity of the sort, that is apparent in his images of waves, clouds, or lightnings: they verge on the terrible, terrifying, unstoppable force of nature, while simultaneously being stylized and inscribed in a cultural history, made familiar and humanized without however loosing a touch of menace.