Theory and Practice

What is the relationship between the theoretical reflection and the plastic approach?

What is the purpose of this research?

When we are faced with a realistic painting we are inevitably led to question what produces the real effect.

We have two things in front of us:

At the same time the material reveals to us the illusion of a non-material presence and at the same time, at the expense of the illusion, this same material shows itself.

Initially, we observed in the same painting both the image and the assembly of matter that produces the image. Then we continued our approach by comparing the relationship between image and matter (imagined consciousness versus perceptual consciousness) to the semiotic relationship of connotations and denotations.

It turns out that it is impossible to dissociate the two concepts in each of these relationships. In fact, when we look at a painting in which a character is represented, we see either the character or the material support on which, as we approach, the character begins to disappear to show the illusion (the appearance) to which we have been subjected.

But at every moment, we have been in the presence of two phenomena in front of our painting: the material and the image of the character that the material produces (the perceptive awareness that makes us see the material of the object and the imagined awareness that makes us see the character; the denotation that makes us see the material and the connotations that make us see the character).

So how do we trick our perception and our knowledge in front of this painting so that we see that the figure is only “realistic”, only exists as a figure, because the matter that constitutes it has been organised to produce this figurative and “realistic” effect? How can we show someone a painting in which they immediately see both the material and the image that this material produces, without one disappearing at the expense of the other? This painting must show an abstract material side, so that one can see that one has matter in front of one.

And at the same time, without hiding or making us forget the material side, it should show a pictorial, figurative side, “realistic” enough for us to be deceived by the appearance of an ephemeral reality.

Another sketch for the posture research

The problem is not simple, because how can we show that a painting is both figurative and abstract; figurative and abstract being two sides of the same medal?

As for the medal, all we have to do is cut the piece in half, so that we can put the two sides next to each other. In this way, we can see the two opposite sides at the same time! By analogy, our picture will have to consist of two pictures, where one will show the opposite side of the other. This is how we started to work. We started from reality, as did the classical painters who tried to make a realistic painting. Like them, we made sketches of the human body to retain interesting postures.

But instead of inscribing the chosen posture in a given rectangular format, we thought of making the support and the figure represented there more attentive.

To this end, we wanted to give the painting a particular shape. It had to have a specific and characteristic appearance that had to be related to the shape of the figure inscribed on it. By giving the support a shape that corresponds to the contours of the figure and the posture chosen, we have helped to propose a way of varying the supports other than by using geometric shapes.

The harmony of the forms comes from the harmony of the proportions of the model (human body). The expression of the form is not neutral either, because it takes on the character of the expression of the chosen posture.