«Thus, at the dawn of a world opening up to an “augmented reality”, bodies fade away and merge with the scenery. The map replaced the territory». Brice Blanqué
After a cinematographic career, Brice Blanqué chose to turn himself towards a different artistic practice by entering the Beaux-Arts of Paris, from which he graduated in 2021. His work presents itself as an open window on interiors from which an odd feeling radiates. An impression of muted violence emanates inside of an apparently calm environment. By playing on the duality between interior and exterior, he manages to create discordant spaces wherein the fragments of memory are juxtaposed. The relationships between private space and public space mingle and clash. He uses sparkles of images from the collective memory and from his more personal memories to create architectural ensembles that seem closed but actually offer the contingency of an elsewhere, the possibility to get out of the frame. He interrogates in this way the limit between the Great History and the Small. Besides, he explains his artistic process by saying that he “works kind of like an archivist, an image collector”. In his paintings, images are tangled like patterns, just like a mise en abyme with frames within frames. This work mixes both his artistic and cinematographic journeys, allowing him to question our space of freedom and the virtuality of our contemporary ways of life, by placing them in a more tangible reality.
Human bodies seem to merge with the setting, and their delicate transparency makes it possible for the viewer to perceive human presence throughout its immateriality. The atemporal essence from the fading bodies emphasizes this questioning on the substantiality of existence. The use of acrylic allows him to create a timeless space where color ranges do not hesitate to rub shoulders with subtle gradients, thus creating an almost cinematographic lighting. Besides, the offered images convoke both the movie scene and the mise en abyme of the painting, by framing the human figures, just like classical portraits. Jean Clay used to say about Matisse : “Paintings in paintings in his art are both surfaces as material objects but also depth as figurative scenes”. Just like the French master, Blanqué uses the nesting of frames in order to create a space of reflection, in which the human portrait merges with the object-painting, thus questioning the borders of the perceptible space. The spatial ambiguity created by the disconcerting use of light and perspective invites us to see beyond our own limits, mental or real, while playing on the exterior/interior ambivalence. The decorative essence, contrasts between smooth or brushed touch and the effect of transparency form a cohesive space in which the eye easily moves between the different moments of painting.