- JM ROBERT started painting at an early age by reproducing the effects of patina, dirt and the degradations observed on the walls of buildings. He first studied Graphic Arts and decoration and learned professional techniques of “trompe l'œil”.
- Urban art and painters of the late 20th century inspired his first pictorial experiments. Gradually he started developing his own style using incisive and powerful graphics, drawing stencil portraits on abstract backgrounds with effects of damaged urban walls. "The damaged façades of houses and buildings fascinate me. I have always felt strong emotions in front of deteriorated walls, and ruins.
- It is my main inspiration. My work is characterized by a pictorial act in two stages. The base of the painting should evoke the surface of an old wall. For this I use a variety of materials, coatings and techniques such as scratching or scraping. I spread each colour one by one on the rough surface. They slowly fill the gaps and the cracks each one leaving a different mark layer after layer. Residues and colours create an unpredictable imprint, an unlikely mark that will last on the canvas. I always try to reproduce this feeling of a crumbling wall imposing its “disease” to the man on the street. We are attracted and perturbed at the same time. On my canvas, colours are exploding in a myriad of disorganized fragments. As soon as they hit the canvas they spread and find it impossible to form a pictorial image in search of reality. My aim is to reproduce this gesture of destruction, dissociation, dislocation of the colours in order to keep and fix that random trace at a particular moment in time. In the second phase, a drawn face is superimposed on this landscape of defragmented colours. It is just a sketch, the face has not had time to take shape. Hardly even drawn those traits already vanish. The face, too, is now also a trace, the one of an anonymous passage, a precarious, always fragile and always female presence. It is just like in Pompeii or Hiroshima and the shadows of bodies.
- I am always searching for my own esthetical conception of ruins in the very limited space of the framed work. For me everything happens on the canvas as if drawing and colours could no longer combine to create the portrait. It is the impossible assemblage, this dislocation which create the painting as an echo of our Times." If the ruins are generally rich in complex and contradictory emotions, the artist wants his painting to speak a contemporary pictorial language as it is expressed on the street walls. It is therefore inevitable that he takes interest in the work of graffiti artists whose language is strong and direct. The purpose of their creations is to leave a trace and catch the attention of the passer-by in one instant. J M ROBERT, through his painting, captures our attention instantly and invites us to seize this strong, brief and punchy presence of a look or an anonymous face.
- The black graphics used to capture this expression contrasts with his very personal flashy palette of colours.
Elle Y Croisa Un Certain Regard
Les temps passés
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