Biography – PHILIPPE PASQUA
Philippe Pasqua has become one of the major artists of his generation thanks to an extraordinary route. Since the beginning, his art impresses and shakes the certainties of people close to him, such as a great criticist : Pierre Restany. For Pasqua, his taste of monumental goes with his attraction for all what is vulnerable : bodies and faces. With sometimes stigmatising differences that the artist, through his painting, uses and magnifies : portraits of transsexual, trisomic and blind persons… Handicaps, differences, obscenity or sacred : each canvas is the result of a fight, a tension between what can be shown and tolerated, and what is socially refused or missed. Pasqua’s painting is received like a physical shock but also like a vision both explosive and incisive. The amplitude of the movements of the artist – a dance with violence, fineness, trance and lucidity – explains the monumental size of his canvas. He started painting some kinds of fetish or enigmatic silhouettes evoking voodoo. Then, little by little, his gaze moved towards people around him. He enters in the folds of intimity’s beings until the innermost depths. Apart from this carnal work, there are his drawings. The face or the body becomes halo, fog, smoke, line, vibration. He doesn’t talk about flesh and material anymore, but uses guidelines and delicate textures. There are also the “palimpsestes” : works on paper mixing screenprints, impressions and painting techniques, where the painter comes back on his own works by adding colors or redrawing them. Another major aspect of Pasqua’s work is in his series of “vanities”. The used technique evokes both the technique of the Middle-Ages goldsmiths working on a reliquary, or some shamanic ritual. He recovers human skulls with gold or silver foil. He can also sheathe them with skins he then tatooes. Finally comes the delicate step where skulls are decorated with naturalized butterflies, spreading their wings with iridescent colors : the light diffracts on their surfaces by a colored sprinkling or desappears in the deep shadow of the eye socket. It sometimes happens that the artist lets the liquid paint flow and recover all the skull. For several years, Philippe Pasqua has been going to Carrare where he has been sculpting skulls of several tons which are like massive stars reflecting of tellurian force. In the foundry, he realizes huge bronze sculptures which then are immersed in a chrome bath. The skulls which get out – human or animal, such as that of the hyppopotamus – become like mirrors : at times they blind due to their brightness, at others they desappear in favour of what they reflect. And when you come closer, you see inevitably your own image.