PHILIPPE CLARA

Ego svm

14.6 > 01.07.2012

States of the body

A series of large paintings in black and white representing a man and his body, in parts, of which the face is a specific body site. Each of these body fragments is analyzed coldly by a factual painting that looks photographic. Yet it is abstract, in the concerns of finding the equivalence of gray, white, shadow.

This man, we guess is the painter. His body, his face, turned to us. Images of past and present coexist, collide. He poses. He looks at us. It is to be seen, staged. The passage of time can be read on his skin. From picture to picture, arranged together, the painter seems to offer us a collection of ego states, little by little chosen incarnations of his questions. He paints himself as a subject -  living, mortal, detached from himself. But the intense gaze, the staging of the body, denies all the more that state of "thing," affirms the being, his desire, his address. He comes to find us.

Far from the illusion of a unified self, the paintings of Philip Clara are so much pieces of an identity game throughout a life. They speak of him as they speak of others, with distance, construction. Mortality is evoked by this state of perishable object he gives himself. The anxiety is palpable. He mixes a paradoxical assertion: childlike innocence, irony or challenge.

One image shows the whole body relaxed, eyes closed, among the objects of his life, disproportionate. This naked body, smooth, timeless, floating gently above the things.

Anne Deroo