De Punta a Punta: Vincent Michéa

2 October - 23 December 2015 ABIDJAN

Continuity of stippling: a kaleidoscope of faces.

This is Vincent Michéa’s second solo exhibition at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury. “I can’t stop thinking about that,” in 2013 featured canvases, painting and an installation of 70 vinyl records with painted centres, a vibrancy of colour and several discrete collages behind a wall. These small and light works, taken out of the studio, were presented as the thread or leitmotif that was slowly emerging in his work.


The visual artist and painter, Vincent Michéa, depicts stories that he has appropriated on paper and canvas. The picture is always at the heart of his creative process. He has thoroughly mastered the formal aspects, and questions whether the work is reproducible. The mechanisation in processing the representation refers to industrialisation, with a reflection on time. A relationship and a discussion arise from encountering a photograph, sometimes closer to an internal dialogue. The finality of the systematic process gives substance to the unique work.


De Punta a Punta invites us to look at what is continuously evolving from point to point, the creativity, the relationship between the artist and his material within the subjects that he considers.


His painting becomes music, bears witness to society and to our era. Painting from a record sleeve stems from historical and social collections, and restitution work.


Vincent Michéa’s paintings demonstrate how faithful he remains towards his iconographic source. They reveal a hidden meaning, an intrigue, to guess how the picture has been created.


A popular Ivorian music album “Merci, Président Houphouët-Boigny” by Jean-Baptiste Yao released in 1966 marks the time. This archive differentiates itself from its era and comes to us, reminds us, sensitively evokes this bygone time. The recent interpretation by Vincent Michéa is in two parts; his two paintings respectively represent the back and the front of the old sleeve. The original form is imitated regarding the harmony of the colours, the graphic design and the alteration of the paper. The artwork remembers.


Transformation, repetition and distortion.

Vincent Michéa allows new thinking to blossom from his silver photographs taken in the 80’s, a game of appearances closely related to his way of painting. He reworks the photograph, adding touches of paint and chosen elements. He sculpts figures, the paper, into unique designs. He gleans from his past and reinvents, using splendour, repeated touches and the rhythm of cutting out and superimposing.


His characters slip into a new role, disguised and camouflaged with colour, adorned with dots with a sense of humour and derision towards what he is manipulating. In “Or serie,” Michéa enhances, lights up black and white portraits with golden paper, Kubor, in fact the packaging of a flavour enhancer; the very illusion.


The collages in the 100% Dakar series model full-length profiles against a white background. A chair, an element and a graphic outfit provide balance and new energy to the miniature model beneath glass. DiscoClub develops the poses of a popular music star in Africa. She establishes herself within the frame and it promotes her, paying tribute to her talent.


Regarding his series of collage, Vincent Michéa writes: “I cut, I slice, I sculpt, I make incisions, I snip, I rip, I amputate, I behead and I dismember… A table, scissors, glue and a mess of pictures is the gear belonging to a photomontage artist. By artistically using photomontage to conceive images “backtracking” is permitted. It is also being aware that photography is an art and being doubtful of producing through this technique alone. Photomontage suddenly seems obvious, significant, perfectly contemporary and adapted to the current context of an incessant flow of all forms of visual and plastic information.


Photomontage requires a certain control over the memory. Far from being an iconoclastic activity, it is more an “animism of pictures”, a “polytheism of vision.” Designing and producing manually with simple and common photomontage tools represents one of the most meaningful gestures for a creator who wishes to make sensitive images charged with heightened tension.”


“The future of new images and their continued vitality is for me linked to accidents of the hand” wrote Roman Cieslewicz in 1993 in the catalogue of his retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.