ELISABETH DAYNÈS

Elisabeth Daynès was born in Beziers, France in 1960. She currently lives and works in Paris. In the early stages of her career in theater, she was fascinated by questions of identity and metamorphosis. From the 1990s, this passion led her to painstakingly recreate the bodies of prehistoric hominids, on which she had based the most advanced scientific knowledge. She thus became a world-renowned paleo artist, notably with her reconstructions of fossil hominids for the Museum of Tautavel or her recreation of the Australopithecus Lucy in 1999 for the Field Museum in Chicago. In 2010, she was awarded the John J. Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize. In 2011, the Ile-de-France Museum of Prehistory devoted a solo exhibition to her work, while a number of her sculptures of hominids were inaugurated in South Korea.

She wishes to show that in a time of social networking and ubiquitous imagery, we are free to invent endless narcissistic mirrors: boundaries that blur in between the real and virtual, the artificial and natural. After creating work based on the origins of humanity, Elisabeth Daynès now invites the public to reflect on appearance and the human face, today and in the future. Her work demonstrates that in the future, as well as in the past, we are not the apex of evolution nor are we the only possible humanity. We were once diverse and that again, we have become diverse. As she plays with and recomposes the subject of the skull, by greatly varying size, material and treatment, she shows us all the faces that we might have had and that we will have one day, if that is our choice as artists.