Welcome to english.eastday.com.Today is
Follow us @
Contribute to us!











Home >> auto >> Article
Artistic inspiration from deep blue sea
From:ShanghaiDaily  |  2021-09-25 04:29

PERHAPS some still remember the last scene of Luc Besson’s “The Big Blue”— Jack, the hero of movie, looked affectionately at his pregnant lover and dived into the sea, because something deep there is calling.

Likewise, French artist Charles Hascoët also finds his “poetic dwelling” deep in the big blue sea.

Featuring his most recent works, the exhibition titled “The Deep” is currently running at Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai.

Born in 1985, Hascoët studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris and graduated in 2014.

He now splits his time between New York City and Paris, and his paintings have been exhibited in many countries.

At the same time, Hascoët is also known for being a DJ, playing his massive and eclectic vinyl collection in clubs, bars and concert halls throughout the world.

As the debut of Hascoët in China, the exhibition mirrors the artist’s journey of sea healing in the face of the sudden and unexpected.

In the eyes of some, the sea is an immense desert, as it covers 70 percent of the planet.

The sea is often considered the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence, so it has always played a significant role in arts and literature.

Some seek its excitement and mystery, whereas Hascoët looks for a reclusive haven where there is only silence and peace — “While there is a storm at the surface, turmoil and trouble, there is always quietness deep below.”

Some of his paintings feature a diver who always takes off his helmet.

Seemingly, the diver isn’t really concerned with the crucial act of breathing underwater, but rather he feels at home in the deep of the sea. Curiously, the diver has selected an octopus and decapods, less attractive, if not downright repulsive sea animals, as his companions, along with some mundane objects — lit candles and tennis balls.

Freud believed the study of dreams often provided the easiest road to understand the unconscious activities of the mind. Obviously, Hascoët has initiated a quest on canvas with puzzles that uncover more secrets about him than even he can access.

In the past two years, he has faced overwhelming and difficult scenarios — the loss of his father from cancer and being separated from his wife due to the pandemic. This series compiles a vast self-portrait that reveals who he is and what has troubled him during the period.

Viewers might guess how these images indicate the artist’s struggle with his responsibilities and the passing of time.

For example, in one of his paintings, the diver guards a lit candle in the dark.

Perhaps for him, the flame of the candle symbolizes the life of his dying father. Actually, the diver has attempted to keep something he cannot truly hold onto.

Hascoët likes to portray octopuses on his canvases. The mimicry and camouflaging ability of this magical creature are matched by the rhythmic colors of the painting.

Famous for their rounded bodies, bulging eyes and eight long arms, octopuses are often considered “monsters of the deep.”

In Hascoët’s works, however, their eyes are full of stories and filled with a sense of caring and benevolence, and even a hint of warmth through their supposedly cold blue veins.

Like a companion of the octopuses, a tennis ball always appears beside it — two utterly unrelated objects that serve as a tandem.

Yet in the eyes of Hascoët, the small tennis ball is bound to float up to the surface from the bottom, which might be a symbol for “escaping a tough time or an exit from agony.”

Still, there’s also detectable brightness, mobility and warmth carried by these bewildering combinations.

Along with a touch of optimism in the darkness, some of the works also carry a sense of melancholic humor through the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated and yet morphologically similar animals and objects — a spider crab crawling on spider webs, an octopus carrying a human skull and plants growing from human hands. Again, these intriguing analogies leave as much room for viewer’s interpretations as they do for artistic creations.

Apart from bright and fluorescent colors, viewers will also find intensive use of purple and pink in Hascoët’s paintings. Purple, the last color in the spectrum visible to the human eye, especially fascinates the artist.

He has extensively explored the variations of its textures and tones in this series of works. Notably, violet — a color both cool and warm — also corresponds to the artist’s complex emotional experience during gloomy days.

“The Deep” is like a diary, as Hascoët recollects about what has been given to him and what he has lost. Through these highly intuitive and metaphorical paintings, he tries to share his most intimate stories with viewers. Perhaps like the tennis ball, the diver in the painting finally comes back from the sea and sets off on a new journey.

Dates: Through November 17, 11am—7pm, closed on Mondays

Venue: Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai

Address: Bldg. 105, 199 Hengshan Rd.