Halos of ‘glam electro’ painting
over heterogeneous principles,
and under human comedy.
excerpts from a text by Frédéric Bouglé
collection au Creux de l’enfer, 2007
In his characters, the artist depicts his reactivity towards other people and towards his environment. Sometimes, fiercely enough, he even distorts their images as if they were to be seen through the magnifying glass of their own condition. The artist’s aim is upside down in the pictorial matter, in the test experiment of colours, in the miniature drawing of what cannot be drawn, in the bodiless, shapeless and faceless thought. He goes beyond the portrait, beyond the neurotic identity of ‘I’, ‘mine’ and ‘myself’. From figural art he goes towards what comes next, towards something in between, towards the subhuman in the shapes of a face and the pose of a model. He reveals their inner desires, the illusions resulting from their time, their libidinous energy and their structure of mental forces. The paintings shine with some kind of supra-figurative inwardness reflecting some luminescent and fascinating burst of lights, dissipating all false images.
Hervé Ic’s portrayals seen from behind remind us of Caspar David Friedrich with his male or female dressed entire bodies like the ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ or ‘At the Mirror’ and the ‘Woman at The Window’. This pose distances the model and the portraitist. It suggests the identity of the model but it does not define it unless the title gives a name because we cannot see the face. A portrait seen from behind reveals the back of a presence, a being only recognisable to an acquaintance. The painter acts as if he would surprise someone who is thinking about something else, who is about to leave. But what does accepting such a pose mean? Does it mean to be humble, to be self satisfied, to be arrogant? What can we say when the wall is our mirror or the mirror of the world? Johnny Mathis would have said: ‘Alone in front of my mirror, I feel a bit lonely, without even knowing why’.
Hervé Ic’s technique is the coverings of several paints, sometimes glycerol, sometimes oil or watercolor. He makes these technical experiments, on stationary plane surfaces interacting on one another and by absorption. With his successive coverings and with different substances, Hervé Ic reproduces and renews an ancient technique used in religious painting- especially dear to Leonardo- the sfumato.
Just like one of Zorio’s stars,
Just like spatial feelings,
A kind of fascinating, sinusoidal authority
Not the picture of one painting but its luminous origin.
In between the radiant materiality of the paint and the shiny immateriality of the successive layers on the canvas, there is no opposition but reflexivity and convergence inside the matter itself and in the organised work of the paint in its vibrating circle. Edmond Rostand said: ’It is at night that faith in light is admirable’ and Zorio’s stars also shine at night. Light, day and night paintings shine in some sinusoidal effect.
These paintings are not only to be seen, they have some strength of unknown origin, witness of a transfigured will, the painting powerful will. Some kind of fascinating authority results from it, harasses the eye and generates a spatial dimension. These works are not abstract paintings; they represent some damaged images or images reduced to their very essence as the spurting impulses of absent entities.
The light paintings lead the viewer outside any condition or convention in the reading of a canvas. They illuminate, mislead, blind or hallucinate. Set in the aesthetic of ‘glam techno’ paintings, light is no longer lost in the heaviness of matter. The spectrum being visible, it is not the lit subject of a canvas but the lighting canvas of a painting subject. Thus, when looking at this work, I’m no longer watching the image on a painting but I look at the lighting source that turned it into a painting.