Denim Mag

WHAT HAPPENS HERE, STAYS HERE * Jean-Baptiste Bernadet

Spray and lacquer on wood – 116 x 89 cm

Every Moment Is All Mine
Oil and lacquer on canvas – 146 x 114 cm, 2006
Trained as a painter, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet initially worked at the fringes of abstraction before introducing, in 2004, his first words in painting with the disillusioned sentence I have lost my Illusions. Drawing from the consciousness of loss, an extraordinary energy and creativity, this work inaugurates an extremely fertile series of painting of words. A pivotal painting, I have lost my Illusions, announces the prominent characteristics of Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s recent work.
From the start, the choice of English language immediately raises doubts regarding the author’s sincerity. The meanings of Bernadet’s ready-made sentences oscillate between dramatic confidences and B-movie dialogues. This ambiguity between the touching authenticity of a personal revelation on the one hand, and the contempt for the commonplaces of communication and self-construction at the dawn of the twenty-first century, prevades the whole series of word paintings.
The French artist’s graphic style is more immediate and expressive, like the background on which words appear. Visible erasures, run-outs, garish colors, de-centered compositions or recycling of abandoned works which transparently appear under new creations, Bernadet’s painting expresses an extreme intensity, which I shall name, according to the artist’s own (painted) word of, “hhardor”.
Exhibition 22 January 2010 – 6 March 2010
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