Mathieu Ducournau was born in January 1965; he lives and works in Paris.
Stitched to the quick.
He seizes the weft — untouched by human hands — and sometimes just good old stiff, rough-looking artist canvas, and although pulled by the shuttle, it suddenly comes to life in the hands of the artist and becomes a matrix, a caress.
Needle and dyed thread become brush and palette. His yarns, knots and ties are sensually transformed into skin; they paint and embody us.
We see appear an eye, the curve of a silky face, like coveted skin; threads converge and diverge, crossing in a dishevelled ballet. The canvas turns twists and bends like the body of a dancer leaping trying to execute the perfect entrechat. Eyes contemplate a mouth that scowls momentarily and is suddenly softened by the felicitous intertwining of threads to become a smile that emerges from the raging waves of fibre: an oval, a curve, shadows, and wild radiant Valkyrie-like curls.
The observer is lost in the storm of clustered strands and in the newborn-like pinched, pleated and wrinkled canvas.
The voyeur falls from his stool like Narcissus into his pond. Saint Sebastian appears. The subject of the portrait looks out at you, bewitching skin made lusciously copper-like by the Sun or ruddied by the wind and sea spray. Was the artist pricked by the needle, just like it did the mythical slumbering fair maiden, oh so long ago?
Courtesy of Galerie Chevalier