Vincent Michéa: Que reste t-il de nos amours?

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, Ivory Coast (cote D`ivoire)
09 Dec 2017 - 10 Feb 2018

Fatou Pompidou #8, série Vincent Michéa fait son malien, Photo print, paper and acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm, 2017 © Vincent Michéa

Fatou Pompidou #8, série Vincent Michéa fait son malien, Photo print, paper and acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm, 2017 © Vincent Michéa

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury present the latest series of paintings and collages by the artist Vincent Michéa in the exhibition “Que reste t-il de nos amours?” (What’s left of our love?) starting December 9th, 2017 in Abidjan.

Vincent Michéa, born in France and living between Paris and Dakar for nearly thirty years, is first and foremost a collector of images. His own shots as well as clichés drawn from African history inhabit his creative process. His approach is a committed one, his choice of photographs is sentient. Vincent Michéa only works with images that move him, animate him and make sense in his work. Everything is connected. Pieces tie into one another, they are superimposed, answer each other, or multiply. Michéa’s paintings are as many hyphens to a agrant history of modernity. In this obsessive quest, Michéa turns himself into a fabulous image manipulator and one of the first painters to cover a vibrant and uplifting African iconography.

The set of paintings presented at the gallery comprises medium and large formats along the line of the work he started in the mid-90s. We nd this plot circumcising his characters on colorful areas of superimposed colors. At rst sight, the rigidly structured dots evoke a mechanical precision that eventually fade into contemplation: imperfection and the «handmade» emanates from each of these forms. That same imperfection brings out all the beauty and intimacy pervading Michéa’s work. Tender moments, playful moments, enthusiastic moments, accomplice moments, so many feelings displayed and enlightened to tell a world that is no more, but is reinvented and revived by the artist through a color palette full of vitality.

The poise of the Gypsy Queens, elegant and spirited large scaled women, dancing in the colorful space, impose observation. Reworked images compel to contemplating a moving eld which, from the viewer’s standpoint, renders a clearer or less blurred vision. From a distance, Michéa’s paintings look like tinted photographs. As you get closer, images disintegrate into a constellation of dots creating the di erent layers of reading of this alternate world.

The notion of rewriting an image is also very present in his photo-collage work. Michéa thus depicts his collage process: “I cut, I slice, I sculpt, I make incisions, I snip, I rip, I amputate, I behead and
I dismember…“ While this statement literally refers to the treatment of the material he uses, it
also suggests his approach to telling the past and the present. Nothing: paper, reality, time, or history, is immune to Michéa’s act of dissection and reorientation. The «Fatou Pompidou» series turns viewers’ eye to a psychedelic world. Lookers are lost in an architecture with deep lines and captivating points. Building these images is at the border of di erent places and di erent eras, impalpable temporality, spatiality. Michéa drives us into another space-time.

In these new series of paintings and photo-collages are found all the artist’s vibrancy and candidness. His models are women and men with long past histories, but as current as ever. What’s left of our love? This simple question sums up everyone’s quest to love and be loved. This testimony conveys a fascination and deep reverence for everyday life to be constantly considered and reinvented. Through this exhibition, Vincent Michéa invites us not only to consider his new worlds, but also to observe ours more closely.




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