FOR AN EXISTENTIAL PAINTING
ANNE DAGBERT 1992 (aica)
I often wonder why a young artist today chooses to devote himself to resolutely figurative painting, outside of consensual trends and institutional strategies. If he does, gets along, not out of ignorance and naivety, but in full knowledge of the facts and having reflected on the meaning of the works of the past and on the course of the history of art. He chooses in a way to "get out" of the abstract path on the one hand and the conceptual impasse on the other. Boldly, he does not stay, like so many others, between abstraction and figuration and frankly takes the party to represent a subject, because this is still the best means of fully expressing existential anguish. The fact is rare enough for it to be noticed.
This is the case of Remi Bourquin who transcribes in his painting, which one could call "classic" without fear that it will be accused of conservatism, a malaise of civilization, subject of a major interest, everyone will agree. His talent as a painter effectively allows him to use the figuration of pretext subjects - few artists are currently able to use the traditional resources of representativeness of painting to translate his nostalgia for a world which made sense, nostalgia which is the ours, yours, without daring to admit it.
Our world has lost its old ideological structures without replacing them. It is invaded by the lures of ephemerality and the artifices of superficiality. Remi Bourquin feels this disturbance, transposed into his personal life by the irremediable loss of the family cocoon which protected him against disorder and fear. Considering the animal in its cage, in a closed room but receiving an even and serene overhead lighting. "It's okay not to have to search for food," he says. He then painted these tranquil animals, these gardens of the Alcazar in Seville, restful and orderly, in the manner of self-portraits, in order to rediscover the first sensation of a protected universe. The idea of the cage is not assimilated to that of a prison. The lines that structure the paintings are symmetrical and drawn along a vertical axis. Need for order to calm anxiety.
The animal motionless in a circumscribed space, a "living picture" in the eternity of its appearance, the viewer of the spectator who contemplates it, is also, of course. a metaphor for painting. Could it be because of this secret anguish, concealed and revealed at the same time as the role of metaphor - that Remi Bourquin's painting exerts its attraction ?