Press Release

Christophe Avella-Bagur                                                          Premium                                                             6th – 27th September 2008

Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard present ‘‘Premium’’ an exhibition of new paintings by Christophe Avella-Bagur from the 6th to 27th September 2008. On a white primordial light Avella-Bagur offers us archetypal models of masculine and feminine bodies as well as robots or computer-animated bodies from video games all of which distinguish themselves through the presence of a flesh coloured image positioning itself within them. The two images are never the same and within each painting the artist creates a new way to juxtapose them. He paints a smooth and ‘clean’ painting conforming to the standard model of manufacture. The faces are altered to the point of the distressing and grotesque deformity of a Titien or a Goya.
In addition to the superimposition of flesh onto the body, there are the clown faces that increase the unease of the viewer who is forced to reflect upon the human condition of our time.  The flawless standardised bodies appeal to our narcissistic fantasies that plastic surgery and prosthetic implants now enable us to realise. Furthermore it makes us think of cinematographic creations of cloaked bodies, hiding under their giveaway exterior, too perfect to be true, which masks either their robotic nature or alien identity. The second portrait induces conscious thought of the other possible downfall of mankind, one that could result from a biotechnical revolution, particularly from neurosciences and the development of widespread neuropharmacology and genetic engineering. The painting forces us to look at the limits between reality and the imaginary, the natural and artificial whilst keeping the themes of the modification of human nature, the emergence of a new political order of the ‘domestication of the self’ and intergenerational cloning in sight. The artist places the human being in its contemporary contradictions of resistance to standardization all whilst being caught up in it.
As Avella-Bagur says himself, ‘‘The artist’s function is not limited to aesthetics, it is taking a dive into tomorrow’s world, brush in hand, to make its traces appear on today’s page.  To summarize : the artist is a social and consequently political explorer using a mute philosophy which is no less forceful’’

Born in 1968, Christophe Avella-Bagur took part in ‘‘My Favourite Things’’ an exhibition at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon in 2005, ‘‘Taille Humaine’’ at the Orangerie du Luxembourg in 2006, ‘‘French Touch’’ at the Villa Tamaris in 2007. He is currently preparing for solo shows at La Maison des Arts d‘Evreux, La Fondation Carzou and La Villa Tamaris in La Seyne-sur-Mer.