Michel Castaignet

 Michel Castaignet (1971, France)

„I’m looking for a new rapport between drawing and painting. We have to learn from old masters, I chose BMTP” – Michel Castaignet.

Michel Castaignet is interested in the fifties’ abstraction history and adapts Greenberg’s concepts to figurative means, producing works that are both formal and representational. The paintings of Michel Castaignet follow logic of collage but nevertheless recall the systems of Buren.

Michel Castaignet chooses the characters of his paintings himself. He uses the potential of anonymous faces, giving preference to souvenir pictures, which he finds in old photos, and making them feel very outdated with old fashioned aura. Fallowing the principle of the Russian nesting doll or so called mise en abyme, the artists projects the photo within itself, creating a painting in a painting. In these series of ordinary photos, he singles out some specific character, very often – a minor one, emphasizing an attitude or a fancy detail of clothing, and then transforming this familiarity of the scene into a dreamlike universe. Thus realising it from the weight of the story and making the images into schemes of thoughts and reflections.
Fallowing this method, many of Michel Castaignet’s painting series have been created – „In Memoriam Europa”, „Jardin Clos”, „Transit”, and the most recent one – “Girl’s World”.

Michel Castaignet (1971) has received Masters Degree of Aesthetics and Theory of Arts at Middlesex University (2001). He has organized 15 solo shows in France, Latvia and Russia, and participated in more than 40 group exhibitions in France, Latvia, Russia, Austria, Lithuania, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany. He regularly exhibits his works at “Maksla XO” gallery in Riga and “Nivet-Carzon” gallery in Paris.
Michel Castaignet lives and works between Berlin, Champagne, Syracuse.