14.02. - 11.03.2019 MICHEL CASTAIGNET "Frauwelt"

14.02. - 11.03.2019

Galerija "Māksla XO"

Elizabetes iela 14, Rīga, LV 1010

Ursula. 2019, collage, 40x30 cm



"It’s been several years that I have been engaged in a graphical reduction of the world, looking for a new rapport between drawing and painting. In a way, the new painting series “Frauwelt” is an extension of my previous interest for the optical dimension of photography – the projection of the image and the cut in reality made by the frame of the photo. Since my solo show “Asphodels” in 2016 (“Maksla XO” gallery), I gradually lost my interest for the kind of realism induced by the photographic process in favour of the balance of shapes and colour in spaces.
Being keen on exploring abstraction in drawing and glass painting, I was seeking for a way to bring together abstraction and figuration, while at the same time keeping them autonomous.
I decided to draw over the abstract shapes, which form the painting’s background, as if it was a smiley. This face was inspired by illustrator HG Peters’ invented character – Wonder Woman. I stared to use this face several times on the same painting and I liked this repetition effect. Now, this graphical painting world is inhabited by one figure, which in a way is a generic persona. It seems both totally familiar and totally alien to classical conception of the human figure as its body is a stack of shapes.
The more I am painting, the more I am stroked by the effect caused by this unique persona that happens to be a woman. There is a science fiction feeling but it’s a retro sci-fi because the face is obviously from the 1940’s and evokes some kind of Marlene Dietrich. So, I used this effect to progress in my compositions and create a world that questions our own world,” Michel Castaignet, 2019.

Michel Castaignet (1971, Paris, France) has received Masters Degree of Aesthetics and Theory of Arts at Middlesex University (2001). Since 2006, participates in exhibitions. He has organized 14 solo shows, and took part in more than 40 group shows in France, Latvia, Russia, Austria, Lithuania, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany. 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.