UNIX Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition of work by Philippe Pasqua. For nearly three decades, Pasqua has created a distinctive body of monumental portraits, haunting works on paper, and skull vanity sculptures - a selection of which will be on display at UNIX Gallery New York, 532 W 24th St, from May 7th - June 7th, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday May 7th, 2014 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
Throughout his career Philippe Pasqua has worked in the medium of flesh and bone. His grand canvases carry a palette of blood reds, rosy pinks and beiges as well as hypothermic blues and purples. The features of his subjects are painted on as if cut in with a knife - an active surface of abstracted flesh that lies in stark contrast with the calm, self-assured, and eerie expressions of his sitters. His mixed media works also carry this dichotomy - the kinetic energy of those he paints released onto paper in splashes of blue, gold, gray, and red only to obscure the surface and have us search for whatever lies underneath.
Pasqua’s vanity sculptures strip down his portraiture to the bare bone. Adorned with butterflies and precious metals or bound in leather and covered in tattoos, these skulls speak to the transience of time and the ever present coexistence of the beautiful and the macabre. His portraits and vanities are less about individual identity and more a mediation on life, death, and the base human qualities that bind us all together.
A self taught artist, Pasqua creates work that is boldly and assuredly his own. But his in depth exploration of life and death is charged with centuries of symbolic meaning and entwined within art history on a subconscious level. His depiction of flesh references Bacon, as mentioned in Modern Painters and The Los Angeles Times, while his reverence for portraiture and loose brushstrokes is influenced by Hals. From prostitutes to transgendered to the mentally impaired, his decision to paint subjects from the fringes of society is in line with the great Realism of Courbet.
Philippe Pasqua was born in 1965 in Grasse, France. He began painting at the age of eighteen and has since become one of the foremost artists of his generation - gaining recognition from critics such as Pierre Restany and Michel Valdberg. His works can be found worldwide in celebrated collections and his exhibitions featured in prominent publications from The New York Times and Vogue to Le Monde and Le Figaro. Pasqua participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale and was the subject of a retrospective in 2010 at the Ahlers Foundation (Hanover, Germany). This is the artist’s first exhibition with UNIX Gallery.
Philippe Pasqua lives and works in Paris.