Focus on Stephane Gubert’s « POP Zoom » series

09/08/2020

Artists

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I am often asked what my selection criteria are, regarding an artist that enters our catalogue. Firstly, I was always answer that the most important thing is the sincerity of the artist, in his creative process. Art Traffik’s artists, as a whole, create because it is vital to them, it’s in their blood…and their quest is to always go one step further in the sincere projection of their desires, truths and emotions. While creating, they never say « this will sell » or « I’m going to make something Beautiful »; rather, they create because they NEED to create. And the more their sentiments, their soul pervade the artwork, the more Beauty emanates from it, because the emotions are there, palpable by the on-looker. 

 

The technic is not an end but a means, which, through practice, practice, practice, allows them to exploit the technic for the purpose of being ever more faithful to their feelings.

For these reasons, Stephane Gubert is rightfully in our selection, even more so with his new painting series entitled “POP Zoom”.

 

I would even venture to say that Stephane Gubert has moved on to a next level, always challenging his artworks, his work, to always go further and to evolve…gaining in maturity, in depth, and in improving his technic…

 

What a delightful surprise it was to discover his latest artworks, while visiting him in his workshop. And to hear him speak, almost nervously, but, more importantly, engaged, I could feel that he had put all of his energy and sincerity in them, and it showed. It was needless to convince me with words for his artworks spoke for themselves…

 

And I now understood his impatience and persistence for me to come see them.

It is all « Gubert », with his color palette, his stroke, his “codes”, his style and identity, his influence by the “Masters” he is so fond of and that inspire him, to whom he refers to and pays tribute to. Betwixt painting, comics, illustration, graffiti, pop-art, to a style that cannot be categorized…his own DNA.

Of him, we know other series…his “Toutfou” (“all crazy”), his “super hero” period, his “grosses” (“bulky women”) and his artworks based on the surf world …All the while keeping his identity, each of these series sets itself apart, by its subject matter, evidently, but also by the different trait of character. 

 

And this new series, “POP Zoom” is somewhat the result of this; a concentrate of only the finest from his previous series.

 

 

SEE ARTWORK

SEE ARTWORK

SEE ARTWORK

see artwork

ANDY Warhol

Why « POP Zoom » ? Stephane explains that he wanted to “get to the heart of Pop Art, to go back to its foundations; by zooming in and framing ONE popular image, a symbol and reference to an idea, a social issue”. Like Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Cans”, to name one of Pop Art’s most popular examples.

 

But before talking about « style », Stephane’s intention is to cover the “subject”, the topic.  And, the topic of this new series is unambiguously Mankind. Man and his fragility, his weaknesses, in a society whose shortcomings he suffers from and whose current events, codes, deviances and consequences he endures. Each artwork tackles a different theme, a fragility or deviance, selected by the artist, amongst all the topics current events brings him or that stems from one of his own experiences, like so many ascertained fragilities that move and affect him. 

 

From our alienating frantic pace “homme pressé, je suis un homme pressé » (“hurried man, I am a man in a hurry”) to violence against women “stop”, or simply our sensitivity battered by our environment “fragile quand tu nous tient” (“frail when you hold us”), “l’innocence perdue” (“lost innocence”) and “douceur” (“tenderness”).

Once the topic is decided, Stephane chooses a childhood “icon” (linked and connected to our innocence and sensitivity), from a comic book or a cartoon; An icon, loved universally for the qualities it illustrates and symbolizes. An icon who falls victim of society’s shortcomings, of the topic Stephane Gubert wishes to undertake. Even if it means the icon being a “super hero”, Wonder Woman for example, chosen to illustrate violence against women. Yes…even she…

ROY LICHTENSTEIN

Hervé Télémaque

VALERIO ADAMI

JEAN DUBUFFET

These artworks, however, aren’t about rebellion and anger, but about sensitivity. Instead of just condemning, he wishes to touch us, as deeply as the topics touched and shook him. 

 

“I dislike injustice; I want an awareness that leads to benevolence that must be universal. ” Like his modesty, he hides this sensitivity by “throwing red-herrings”, hence allowing various interpretations, based first and foremost, on the aesthetics, its aesthetics, which is sufficient in itself, but secondly is the meaning, the message. 

 

“The topic mustn’t be too obvious because I don’t want people to scratch their heads in bafflement; I want the artwork to be seen with a certain lightness”, he says as he continues on with his catchphrase “to do things seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.” For art is, above all else, about pleasure, even if one of its vocations is to find and express meaning, a message, to give meaning.

 

 “I try to find the appropriate balance” he says, and I must admit that it’s quite accomplished in this series. And this, with the inspiration of his “masters” who are Roy Lichenstein, Herve Telemaque, Valerio Adami and even Jean Dubuffet…between deconstruction, ridges and rips.

 

Article published by LJ Art Traffik