Métamorphe(s)

Arghaël

Loo & Lou Gallery - Haut Marais
20.03 - 11.05.19

Anatomical walls

In Metamorphe(s), Arghaël has prolonged his relationship with the body and accentuated his floating, surprising figures. The artist, like an animal searching for the souls of beings and things, is hanged onto his canvas, unveiling twirling bodies that have a dialogue with the great artists who confronted the determined power of their models, from Egon Schiele to Francis Bacon, through the filiform bodies of Giacometti and the organic faces of Artaud. Arghaël is keen to travel elsewhere, to gallop with materials, to climb a stretched linen rock in order to restore from this race over time a strength, and assault and an unpremeditated candor.

Living distortions

Flesh emerges… the canvas becomes a new skin where the meeting of the moving artist and the immobile model takes place. The artist is horizontal on all fours on top of the canvas to turn the skin alive, and the stoic model looks at this vital agitation that turns their body into raw material. It is a transmutation of bodies, a passage, a welcoming. It is about reaching a moment, giving way to accidents, to the fine dust of charcoal and pastels that sometimes break under the pressure of the artist's swift gestures. It is about distorting reality and giving birth to a madness of life, a language.

Body mutations

The other face of Arghaël’s drawings are the transformation of bodies, a kind of metamorphosis. It tends to mix, to make the figures complex, evoking both ecstasy and pain in a paradoxical weaving of emotions. The body twists and levitates at the same time, causing suspense, an enigma to decipher. The absence of the sexes is also inviting itself in this alchemical dance. When he draws the body of a woman, he removes certain aspects of her femininity  to create an ambiguous intimate space. Arghaël provokes duels on his canvases, between the model and artist, violence and sweetness, man and woman, fauna and nymph, black charcoal and pastels colors, speed and monotony, movement and that which is fixed, sensual caresses and harsh wounds. His works are metamorphoses initiated by a "gaieté noire", a living vision of the universe as bodies. The artist then invites the visitor to feel the canvas, to feel, as a ricochet, that this meeting took place. Thus, he offers us to see flesh anew, the fruit of this mutation of bodies.

Lionel Dax, extract taken from Métamorphe(s), March 2019