François Arnal. Life through the prism of aerosol.

An object, a simple object of a daily life,  what could be more mundane?

What can it bring to our life apart from serving it’s purpose?
How many pants do you own or how many shoes do you buy a year?
All these simple objects create a picture of our day, of our modern society, of our life.

Arnal had a much more complex, controversial, and often contradictory approach to the object then most of his peers. He paved his way in contemporary art through numerous movements: As Art Brute, Support Surface, Art informel and he even crossed his ways with surrealism.
But that was Pierre Restigny and his group of New Realist in late 60th who introduced him to the new way of looking at the modern world, the world that has been through a
terrifying war and just has begun its recovery.

«It is the farthest that I can go to meet a shape (or I can not go any further than this to meet a shape). I do not want to be an author, only an accomplice. The object comes to my aid, but free from its reality, Hiroshima imprint truer than life.»1

Bombardement 79 La paire de pantalons et la chaine à vélo n2 1966
Bombe aérosol couleur et pochoir 81×100

The world was a disappointing picture that one wants to distance himself from. The first ambition of François Arnal, certainly an accomplished artist, was to invent techniques and redefine materials, apart from what is already there, which would strongly determine his personal opinions and conception of artistic creation.
He comes across the aerosol bombs in arms of street protesters and refers to them as a medium expressive enough to reflect his works.

«When I engage in this journey without end and without a purpose of the painting, I find myself of course in awe of these mysteries that come to me outside of my will. But also frustrated with my place of man in the world. This faction can be found in part erased by the fact of being able to (since 1959), to collate materials and objects, transform them to have an influence on a volume, a weight, on different structures. And finally, the extreme good understanding of the painting and the sculpture, helps me to renew, to escape from this boredom that can come so fast with anxiety that follows inexorably.»2

The art has always helped to escape or at least to ponder through it.
The white canvas as the peaceful world we never knew, the black aerosol bomb as all the aggression on the street, all the harm that the war brought us, and just the objects that stay, after all endless consuming that can only bring us comfort. Objects stay white, light brings them to the fore.
Light animates the most inanimate object and gives it cinematographic value. They stay frozen in time blasted up by the explosion.
«The object has released gradually from my signs, my writing. He breaks away from me, I’m no longer serving anything. Enough to stop me. That’s what I proceed to for next seven years.»3 

 Masha Andreeva

1/ Catherine Millet , ARNAL Cercle d'art, 1998
2/ Ibid
3/ Ibid