Bertrand Martin‘s works are an invitation to reassess the reading of the portrait. In a desire to erase, the artist brings a figurative dimension that escapes the classic stereotypes. He paints those close to him, his family, his friends or people he has met by chance in life. These seemingly introverted characters invite us to seek a deeper understanding of what they think and what we can learn from them. Most of the attitudes are captured in a moment of thought, reflection, sleep and melancholy. […]

The artist takes care to emphasize a look in the corner, closed lips… The eyes and the mouth are the two main vectors of emotion in the face. The framing around the face gives an impression of volume. It is reinforced by a fragmented background, which fades in and out. The bright blue-green background contrasts with the tones of the diaphanous face. The light effects and the combinations of a palette that mixes light and bright, contribute to a moving impression, a dynamic sensation that contributes to the deconstruction of the composition.  

“I have been researching to introduce more randomness into my backgrounds (…) The erasure of the figure is a form of violence, an imprint of the chaotic outside world on the pure, innocent face.” This choice of a background with a floating texture allows the subjects to emerge light, in light. The strategy of dissolving the figure in places experiments with “disappearing” and gives free rein to pictorial surprise. Without unity of time or place, this situation concentrates reality and shifts the question of reference. In this atemporal melee, the characters, emptied of their space and context, are recharged by their own potential for occupation. They thus impose themselves in a direct confrontation with the viewer. In front of Bertrand Martin’s works, the dimension is physical and immediate. In spite of the mystery suggested, his controlled and mannered line is part of the contemporary figurative filiation. This penetrable dimension escapes the conventional mode of portraiture. It provides a certain distance from reality, revealing its truth about others under a subtle blush.

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