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"Intimity" by Frederique Tristant

Frédérique Tristant is a French artist born in Vannes in 1971, who lives and works in Brittany in the Morbihan.

She is both a specialist in semiotics, holding a doctorate from the University of Bordeaux, and a painter whose training was validated by a degree in fine arts from the University of Rennes.

This double training irrigates her work, offering beyond its graphic aspect, a reflection on the nature of the representation resulting from her university course on the image of the bodies through the tools of reproductions (photographs, videos) and scientific investigation (radiology, scanner, MRI etc).

From this reflection, she seeks the limit, the tension between the physical reality of skins and bodies and the dreamlike vision that representation offers: subtle recreation of this reality in a two-dimensional space materialized by some pictorial layers thinner than the epidermis.

His work, which is based on photographic clichés, begins by desubstantiating them before using them as the primary support for the pictorial work. Like a protective skin, the support of these reproductions is sometimes wrinkled, as if it had already lived.

Little by little the paint, often watercolor, will cover this skin, recreate it, substitute it or erase it to allow the spectator to grasp a dimension that surpasses the tangible reality of things: "The wrinkles and folds of the skin paper anchor my work in the genre of the Vanities operating a clear shift from the photographic to the pictorial. The patterns (flowers, birds, stripes, toile de Jouy, liberty, gingham, etc.) allow me to move from a real person photographed to a fictional character and to refuse the simple decorative aspect. The motif is a Proust's madeleine that makes my work nostalgic and my personal memories universal.

Her work organized by series questions both her personal history and her questioning of her own nature as well as her femininity. Beyond this almost psychoanalytical aspect, her works question us as if in mirror on our own reality beyond our epidermis.

Frédérique Tristant works in series, each targeting a particular problematic of the representation of the world.

The "Intimate" series currently presented at the gallery questions the mystery of each person, the quest for an elsewhere to find oneself, but also the truth specific to each person that the gaze alone cannot bring us.

In the series "Roman-photo", images of advertising are diverted from their outdated, glamorous and very conservative meaning on the role assigned to women, precisely to allow us to question these consumerist assignments.

The "motifs" series, by superimposing both floral backgrounds and photographs, questions the filter of our memories, and the associations that our senses give to past events.

Frédérique Tristant's painting, through the question of representation, questions our humanity and the reality of our senses in our apprehension of the world.

It is not necessary to stop at the simple pictorial technique, or at the "way" of painting to appreciate this demanding work, but to accept to be carried away in the reflection that the artist proposes to us.


Cedric le Borgne

Gérant d’ARS ESSENTIA, Galerie d’Art, 9 place Felix Ziem, Beaune, Bourgogne, France

Diplômé d’Etudes Supérieures de l’Ecole du Louvre


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