The portrait painter’s obsession is not to paint a figure, a face. Renaud Delorme is one of those obstinate portraitists who traces the contemporary deterioration of being. “What remains of us, when the figurative illusion of the face ceases? What singular representation of others comes to mind when my idea of a person, of myself, is at stake? Surely not just the photographic image placed horizontally of the figuration alone. Each portrait aspires to a completely different, more tortuous investigation: that of depicting a personality as a hybridisation between person and things, singular and societal”. This pictorial (en)quest is the one Renaud Delorme pursues.
Renaud Delorme’s works proceed from an obsessive agglomeration of things and debris. In order to create these portraits, it is necessary to resort to a maniacal factory of crumbling, of methodical deconstruction. The works are not so much paintings as boxes, chests, or more precisely, caissons in which the work is housed. The modus operandi is iterative: a content is embedded between wide strips of metal. A translucent sheet of Plexiglas reveals the inside. Gathered horizontally, a bric-a-brac of pieces of things, broken, segmented, fractured, meticulously recovered, then nailed to a wooden panel. These are multiple signs of manufactured objects that have passed, ad patres, used.