Since ever I do work on portrait of people close to me: mostly family and friends. This occasional distraction within my own “program-work” becomes more and more regular now. Therefore I paint those I love, admire and feel related to or those I miss, like my grandparents recently passed away. Self portraits are being part of this as well – it’ might have something to do with self therapy.
Slef-portraiting, the most decontracted and casual portrayal process for me. ideas of doing selfportraits come and go, sometimes I suddenly catch one and realize it, mostly on paper but canvas happens to get involved too once the pushing is too exuberant.
There is no mean od keeping an visual diary like Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo used to do, I just work and analyse my face when I feel like. Nevertheless, I can say there are some stange pushings making me relaise a portrait when something important is going on in my head, much often under life-change or other similar circumstances.
I found one self-portrait dating back to 2006 shortly after my first voyage to Scotalnd paying a visit to my aunt ( I didn’t take a picture of it). I do remember another one I worked on while living in Brussels (now in private collection). In Paris I got to work on two or three of them in various and quiet diverse styles.
Once again inspired by my favourite maestro after having visited his exhibition in Centre Georges Pompidou: Matisse: Pairs et Series to focus on art of portrait. I took my favourite model’s beautiful face to start with a variation on famous Portrait de Lydia Delectorskaya (Hermitage museum, Saint Petersburg) and sketch her portrait split by an invisible line dividing the colour composition of the picture into two parts not of the same size but of the same pictural value. I represended colour fields with help of cut coloured-paper and simply drew the portrait on this collage with black ink. It is quiet funny how this adventure based on Matisse went on very quickly to a rather familiar pop-art-like representation and turned (not so suprisingly) into warholesque painting.
Result? A very elegant portrait. I think that my graceful friend’s face dominating all the space within the composition has indeed got something of a Grace Kelly chic and charmant charisma.