Transforming a mental space and giving body to a fictitious space, here is what Gilles Élie, painter, realizes through his work. Indeed, because he has no studio entirely dedicated to his art and being, as he amuses himself to say, a painter of apartment, Gilles Élie paints his own studio, an ideal mental space, vast and empty of all presences in which the viewer is invited to penetrate and project himself. The canvas, support of the artist, has to be seen as a window open to an intimate space by which the viewer understands that what is presented to him is more than a simple representation of a studio but a more general reflection on the artist's place, his workspace and its production. From these questions arise a series of different ambiguous artworks, the painter creates situations of "mise en abyme" as in a set of pairings we could identify as "paintings of paintings" in which Gilles Élie paints a geometric shape on a white background. Generally monochromatic, the geometric shapes that are represented are sufficiently elusive for the viewer to question himself on the nature of the work he is looking at. However, a relief seems to guide our reading. A slight volume seems to be visible between the white background and the colored surface ; we are confronted to the representation of a painting hanged on a white wall
The artist invites the viewer to gradually take a step back from the inside of the studio to focus on the works it contains but also to see the painter doing his art to finally find himself on the other side of the window, outside of the studio. A process through which Gilles Élie manages to give a certain physicality to this mental space he paints.
Through his work, the artist claims his status as a painter by using as a point of origins, the space where it all starts : the studio, a subject that imposed itself naturally to the artist. Evacuating all narratives aspects, Gilles Élie manages to (re)concentrate our gaze on the space ; whether it be the studio space, the mental space or the exhibition space where is shown a painting, a rectangle ; an empty space from which everything seems to begin from.
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