Crédit photo : Victor Cornec & Antoine Omerin
Born in 1961 in Roubaix (FR)
Lives and works in Montreuil (FR)
Represented by the gallery Loevenbruck, Paris (FR)
Philippe Mayaux’s works often border on the kitsch and are placed at the limit of bad taste. A bad taste proclaimed in deliberately rough and garish painting, rejecting any notion of virtuosity and technicality, or even in assemblies of little sculptures or objects forming improbable hybrids, making up a kind of inventory of the prevailing mediocrity. It is precisely within this gap between accepted taste and kitsch that Mayaux’s work finds its place: with his works he activates the mechanisms of detachment which make us become aware of our free will or of our conditioning, without for as much pretending to reveal the “social markers”. This gap is also a semiotic economy eluding the real, “this notion of interpretation of these signs, allowing for the anticipation of the real and not to be stuck to it like a table cloth on a tabula rasa”. Thus Philippe Mayaux constructs a universe of disturbing poetry nourished by personal and illusive mythologies. It is peopled with acephalous heroines, demonic figures and disquieting and asexual hybrids. In the background, Freud and Nietzsche rub elbows with the big bang, pop and science fiction.
In this simultaneously seductive and scary panorama, the window holds a particular place; a piece of museum apparatus as well as an ordinary element in the home, it serves to display a collection of fantasies and fears: vulgar sculptures and mediocre objects are mixed together to make up an ensemble whose coherence cannot be conceived outside of the artist’s mythologies which are, nonetheless, strangely familiar to us. As for the painting, it keeps us at a good distance from the real and especially activates our representations in order to better twist and turn them upside down as well as reveal the contradictions and the inherent conflicts: seduction is close to disgust, eroticism to the sordid, indignation to complacency.
Extrait du catalogue De leur Temps
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