In this online exhibition for Bergam Galerie I show a serie of portraits that differ in many ways from the rest of my work.
As I did not want to paint after live models and also knowing that by just inventing a character, you always end up by doing your self-portrait, I decided to look for persons in books, novels of all nationalities, and that would inspire me, touch me, in one way or another.
Nourished by the physical descriptions of the characters more or less provided from the authors, I also relied on their psychological profile
which ended, as the story progressed, by emerging from them.
These characters first born in my imagination, I had to make beforehand, as regards to the portraits in oil, multiples sketches before arriving to specify the features, refine the gaze, until obtaining the person as I had imagined him during the reading.
The portraits on paper towels took a more spontaneous direction due
to the technic. With a less defined idea of the character, I painted
first their facial features in acrylic on a sheet of paper before I
fingerprinted them in stages over to the paper towel.
Since I was a child, I’ve never stopped escaping in books, to console myself, to make me dream, to travel, but also to fall in love or make friends. Then one day, I felt like painting a portrait of some of these people who appeared to me as I read - and very often as I reread, either by identification, or because they upset me and sometimes simply touched me.
Each portrait carry the name given by their author, but in order to avoid anecdotes, I have chosen not to reveal the title of the work concerning the person. As for the public, at the moment he is confronted to a painting that speaks to him, there is an encounter and that is what matters! And if he wants to learn more, he will have to become a private investigator - but in turn become a reader, he risks instead of being free to make his own image, being imprisoned by that of my painting. I can only tell that among my favorite books are authors such as Knut Hamsun, Gabriel Garcia Lorca, Milos Kundera, Magda Szabot, John Irving, Valerie Perrin…
Aïna Wallé, 26th of November 2020, Boves