For more than three years now, Stéphane Belzère, painter, has refocused his work around the exclusive practice of watercolor. After a time of learning, experimenting with papers, color tests, doing various researches as well as attempts at transcribing subjects, he has started to create watercolors paintings from reversal films that he collects from friends, family members or even from anonymous collections.
It is about exploring a world of analog pictures that have been discarded, neglected because they have been replaced exponentially by digital images. The artist invites us to an immovable journey in space and time, but also in the eyes of others. Through the exploration of these collected archives, the world is seen through the eyes and minds of other people, sometimes known, sometimes anonymous.
The cover of the slides is important, either by the white around the image, or by the advertising or inscriptions, sometimes manual annotations of the authors of the photographs. There is a kind of correlation between the transparency of the slide and the transparency of the watercolor.
For the exhibition “A quoi rêvent-ils ?” (What do they dream about?), the painter chose to present some pieces of his series Reflets nocturnes (Nocturnal Reflects) that began in 1995 and that now has nearly 580 pieces. These small formats self-portraits (40x20cm) were done in his studio in Berlin, solely during a ritual at night where the artist would seize his own reflection, mostly nude, in various positions. Thus from this intimacy we can think of the dreams and fantasies that such a face to face arouses…
The artist obtained a research grant from the CNAP for this series in 2012 and 2013.
Galerie SIT DOWN
04.20.23 – 05.27.23
À quoi rêvent-ils?
Galerie SIT DOWN
Stéphane Belzère (b. 1963, Argenteuil) is a Swiss French artist, educated at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. He is based in Paris, France.
Coming from a French, Swiss and German upbringing, the notion of collection imbues his work, through an obsessional search around one subject and the study of figuration, between attraction and repulsion. Amongst his previous series, he painted the no-man’s lands after the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as his own reflection in the windows of his studio, leading to a series of 700 self-portraits, Reflets nocturnes (Nocturnal Reflects, 1995 – 2013). He produced a series named Bocaux anatomiques (Anatomical Jars, 1996 – 2005), exhibited at the French National Museum of Natural History. His Sausages-Painting are inspired by a personal collection of foodstuff.
Recently, he has been invited to engage a dialogue between his own work and pieces from the collections of the Zoological Museum of Strasbourg, resulting in the Mondes Flottants (Floating Worlds) exhibition presented at the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Strasbourg until August 2023.