CHRISTINA MIGNOLET - CHRISTINE MARCHAND
'La tendresse du regard'
Facing the subject in portraitureA portrait brings with it at least two referents. The first is the one portrayed as a body, as an material form. The second one is the essence of the face, the unique authenticity of the portrayed other. But, perhaps, there’s a third one: the portrait as an inward self-portrait showing through the portraits of the portrayed others. It seems as if in the art work of Christina Mignolet these three layers of portraying come to an integrated synthesis. Of course, it is none of my business to analyse the psychology of the artist. But facing the pain, the distress, the loneliness, the human sacrifice, the compassion and the sometimes rough innocence of her figurations, we – as an audience – have a perception of what’s going on inside people, although one will not generally notice it. Mignolet succeeds in giving a particular sense to expressions. It makes us wonder what’s going on inside. There’s some subtle meaning not expressed, not explicit, but always there, hiding. This is precisely the idiom of her art work: an alienating and idiosyncratic characterizing of the human being. It’s made obvious by all her different ways of showing people: wounded children, loving lesbians, anonymous loners, desperate young people, women in “jouissance”, secret moments, innocent girls, fearfully eyes, girls as siameses twins, etc. It makes for a surprising “non existing” unity between the model and the painted result. Through this Mignolet makes it possible to make the human subject appear as a simulacrum rather than as an origin. The painted face seems to be a lie that tells the truth. Everything happening inside the gap between the origin and the painted portrait, between the artists private experiences and the way she puts all of it in frame, is of course left clouded in mystery, in an unconscious process. Mignolets portraits are not at all refering to mass-media-produced stereotypes. There’s someone made of flesh and blood outside the portrait. But this particular person relives simultaneously inside the portrait. Although the face is so fundamentally linked to our identity, we can use this same face to hide our deepest feelings. Instinctively – but improperly as we know - we associate the outward appearance with the soul of the person. Mignolets paintings dig into the delicate ambiguity the mask and the subjectivity behind it represent. The personality she sketches looks as an undivided subject, but at the same time as someone who lives the lives of people threatened by the miseries, the hopes, the ups and downs of humankind. More than anything, there’s room for an affectionate compassion in all her portraiture.
Joannes Késenne (Phd, lecturer Theory of Art at the MAD-Faculty, Belgium)
The main source of inspiration for me is while being along the way, the confrontation with the surrounding.The passing countryside stimulates my imagination, often impregnated with memories. Besides images and pictures classical music also motivates my life. Music waives my emotions and makes me watch at and observe my environment differently.Inspiration I find in the spatial structure by Cézanne, the expressiveness of Munch, the spirituality in the work of Antoni Tàpies. I love the playfulness and sensuality in the work of Ronald Noorman and the intelligent universe of Jürgen Partenheimer; both artists who achieve a great expressiveness with limited resources.
Galerie S&H De Buck
Wednesday up until Saturday 15h - 18h
and by appointment