Grégoire Mottefrom 25 April to 26 May 2019
Grégoire Motte is an artist born in Lille
in 1976 who likes the blue-fjord colour by the brand Dulux Valentine. During a trip to Norway towards the end of noughties, he observed the faithfulness to which the nuance could be applied to the smooth surface of the Stavanger fjord. Its disruption bringing him out of his reverie, he had not seen the storm clouds approaching, which changed in an instant the surface of the fjord into a dark grey render. Then, as the sun was setting, a sudden breach appeared in this obscurity as if to impose the last few rays of sun on this all too brief day, which made him lift up his head. Through this crack dove bright red birds (...)
To tell the truth, the red birds first appeared in Marseille in 2018, during an exhibition whose walls — much bigger than he had expected — laughed at the distraught artist. Motte can remember a bird in the shape of an upside down 3, cut from a thin slice of red pepper and stuck for years upon the white sky of a cupboard in his mother’s kitchen. And, so they rushed from afar in order to mob the colossal walls, great flocks of these red birds which in Marseille are called “gabians” (a type of gull). This was more or less how Motte recounted things to Marie-Laure and Charles who immediately thought of the large white walls of the staircase which led to the poolside terrace (...)
Most of the time Motte employs materials from everyday life — industrial paints which becomes a romantic paint, birds made from peppers, fountains made from bibite (plastic Roman bottles), in the image of a recurring character in his oeuvre: that heroine, that magician, who in the 1940s, right in the middle of the dearth of silk and hosiery, invented trompe-l’oeil stockings she could wear out of chicory — in order to create works which could be described as realisations, fragments bound to narratives from which they flow or which they provoke.
Some of these stories are told by the artist himself in an anthology of short stories, published in February 2019, Baby (2019, éd. Grandiose).
BOB FLUSTRAN, 2019