Jean-Marc Calvet, “A la croisée de nos chemin”
#NICE Because it apparently refuses to accept the filter of thought and immediately confronts the spectator in a tense face-to-face situation, the painting of Jean-Marc Calvet asserts itself in its formidable power. Its brutal frontality imposes itself as the grimaceous mirror of who we are, and beyond the underlying image of the violence it sends back to us, we are seized by this humanism that seems compressed in a chaos of forms and colors. The whole of humanity condenses in the enclosed space of the canvas. And if the figures saturate it, the human face in its primitive, almost animal version, most often at the centre of the canvas, is the organizing principle. It creates a symmetrical order that takes care of a multitude of signs, clues or icons as if, in the brain, words flowed back into archaic forms, unifying myths before any discourse
This is a universal painting that is both popular and cultivated, simple and complex, which speaks of our animality, our anxieties, our crazy energy to escape all chains. She speaks of the freedom that art has when it refuses to accept any destiny in order to condense a whole flow of memory that it interprets as it pleases and stages a dramaturgy of colour and form while everything is still in the making
If at first sight we can think of Basquiat’s painting or that of Street art artists, Jean-Marc Calvet’s universe is very different: It is not so much a psychological and social exteriority, nor a decoration or even a desire for expressiveness that he is attached to but rather to returning to the sources of pictorial language. A painting that goes beyond current events or time. If the human face is omnipresent, it is lacerated by a multitude of images that enclose it in a stifling frame. The eyes are everywhere, hypnotic, carnivalesque, reminders of lost civilizations. The fingers are lacerated points like stars. The mouths exhale a laugh without object. The infinite of the sky penetrates the body, the color is an eruption of life. The fire smoulders in everything, lets the lava flow and, if everything disintegrates and melts, yet something of the order of another grammar, a new lexical form, is built here. It is also a “singular” art, since the painter perceives it as a form of personal therapy that will have delivered him from his wounds and torments. And it is because the artist manages in a very personal way to grasp the universe, to translate its energy into that of the body, that he delivers us a literally striking work.
Until June 20, 2019
Jean-Marc Calvet, A la croisée de nos chemin
2 Rue du Congrès, 06000 Nice
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