“Moods in a room”, photographs by Catherine Balet
#PARIS Catherine Balet gives colour to the thierry Bigaignon Gallery and pushes the boundaries of photographic creation with the exhibition “Moods in a room”.
After surprising and entertaining us with her latest series “Looking for the Masters in Ricardo’s Golden Shoes” in which Catherine Balet revisited the great icons of the history of photography. She photographed, not without humour, Ricardo Martinez Paz, a 76-year-old dandy, who replayed the characters immortalized by the great names in photography: a child of Willy Ronis, the characters of Nan Goldin, a model of Helmut Newton or even replaying Pablo Picasso with his bread hands immortalized by Robert Doisneau. Today with “Moods in a Room”, Catherine Balet shows us a work that began nearly twenty years ago, perhaps deeper, more intimate too, and which gives rise to surrealist compositions playing transparencies and multiple collages. This series compares the virtual and the material through a subtle mix of pictorial textures and digital photographic elements.
Catherine Balet freed herself from traditional photographic practice as Fannie Escoulen, curator of the exhibition, points out: “No longer a painter but far from a purely photographic practice, Catherine Balet reveals an introspective universe made up of a multitude of layers, like a palimpsest, drawing from her unconscious nourished by the history of art references to the great movements of painting. By deliberately freeing herself, she affirms in these picture-paintings that her characters do not seem to be able to escape from the hallucinatory closed doors of these pictures.
Through this pictorial practice, photography has become the pretext for multiple collages that give an almost cubist version of photography. Like a painter superimposing his layers of colours, Catherine Balet superimposes her photographic archives, personal or from the Internet, which she combines to compose a protean work with an abundant imagination. Each image immerses us in extremely rich narratives in which characters are found in the middle of their worlds, with their everyday objects and even their pets. She thus creates still images on scenes of daily life that leave the viewer questioning. Is time suspended? Like a story being written. Or is it old? Like a thousand archaeological leaves revealing a past and the remains of a troubled memory.
These assemblies also give a certain tension to the images. The characters seem to be the protagonists of a film or a play. In turn, a drama is played out, a murder perhaps, a banal scene of a mother and her daughter watching television, a game in the countryside or a summer by the pool. There are many references, whether cinematographic or pictorial. We find in particular Hockney, Bacon but also Matisse or Ingres and many other references to the history of art. An entire artistic pantheon is invited to this iconographic firework display from which the artist feeds and liberates himself joyfully in order to tell the story of our world, our great and small lives with a very great creative freedom.
Moods in a Room
From February 7 to March 30, 2019
Thierry Bigaignon Gallery
9 rue Charlot
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