« There’s 7 billion people on our planet. That’s a lot of people. This teeming humanity of life, I’m part of it, I'm a participant, I’m immersed. I bump shoulders with it, but without really meeting; I cross such a small part of it, a few hundreds at the most, which is nothing compared to everyone I’ll never know. 

However, in the loneliness of my studio, I feel them here, close, invisible and yet tangible, obsessive. I need to go meet them, but how? Invite them to draw their portrait? It would be wonderful, but how many lives do I need to achieve that? So, I summon them on paper. I reinvent them, build my own typology, my personal catalog.

I draw, and the utopia becomes reality. They come out of the shadow one by one, and they invite themselves without ceremony, they gradually populate my intimate space. A mute dialogue takes form and I’m the one telling their story. They melt into it, play the game, and thus become larger than life, more familiar, domesticated in some ways. And to my amazement, everyday I meet someone new. 

Yes, they’re here, well alive, and despite what are pretending the authors of detective stories I solemnly declare that any resemblance to an actual person, as fortuitous as it can be, is not only the fruit of chance… »

 This consciousness of beings and things that are manifesting the painter, is a consciousness of the world. In fact, when we look at these portraits, we can’t doubt their reality. Or should we say, of their existence: they’re fictitious and nonetheless alive. Each of them have their own identity and the painter seems to build an inventory of possibilities, that point where each of us could without a doubt, identify.

But beyond the singularities there is something universal in their simplicity, absence of direction, and barely sketched bodies - in order to better underline those powerful faces - that seem to be originally carved  in  clay. They’re installed in a cautious but solid neutrality and this simplicity gives a lot more to the imagination about the thoughts that drive them, the worries, and the questions that these motionless eyes and closed mouths no funny faces or outrageous expression would do it.

These people are from our world, they’re this world, a world which organizes itself around us, because it is each of us. A world which identifies the one who created them, as we all are. 


Lou Kittel - Art critic