Beauty, Order and Disorder

June 17 – July 15, 2023
Victor Knipping en dialogue avec Keith Haring, Andy Warhol et Julien Colombier 
Galerie Ars Longa

Following a course in art history, Victor Knipping continues as a painter a work of constant observation, listening to the world and its wags, its outbreaks and transformations, its revolutions and reformations, its beings and their detours ; what the brush allows to capture better than no other technique : these intimate fragments of perception in their strangeness, stolen from normality, revealed to themselves.

A thought haunted by the right to freedom, caught up in beauty, is thus set in motion by what the artist witnesses, like many dramas that he will try to make beautiful, because it is still, according to him, the the easiest thing to appreciate.

It is at the heart of the expression of his struggles that Victor’s work takes on its full meaning. As a fervent campaigner for LGBTQIA+ rights, he dedicates his work to them, to denounce the violence of their non-recognition, always shrouded in a veil of glittery mutism. The beauty in disorder.

Echoing Keith Haring and Andy Warhol artworks, their endless battles and struggles, Victor’s work reflects and responds to theirs. There is no doubt: a conversation is born, linking three artists around a common language: the ferocious and unbearable battle, like so many variations on the same background, having chosen beauty, radicalism and provocation as their means of expression. The work of Julien Colombier, huge amateur of Keith Haring’s art since his early days in front of his blackboard and chalk, reinforces and upholds the purpose and the common cause of the three artists with “his formal quest for beauty”, as journalist and art critic Julie Chaizemartin quoted for the Solo Show Entropiques at the Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris in 2021 : “Julien Colombier’s works are fascinating because their labyrinthine bundles play with our illusions and dreams while conforting us to what eludes us, what we still ignore. In a word, the mystery of nature. Here, sung by a formal quest for beauty, claimed by the artist and so taboo not so long ago in contemporary art”.

Victor Knipping’s gestures reveal the inhuman brutality of having to fight to exist. His textures magnify the beauty of perseverance and hope. The choice of black and white can only be explained by the contrast between day and night. Finally, permission and refuge. But also of the metamorphosis that only night allows. His paintings, like blood drips, symbolize the passage of time, always plagued by the same wounds. But how do we look at them? How do we accept them? How do we make man see all his abject cruelty? Perhaps by simply making it beautiful. Therein lies the whole point of Victor Knipping’s work, which he defines as a message in its own right, above all else, global and visceral. It’s his only end in itself. Concept before abstraction, substance before form, matter before spirit.

Slaves to our fantasies, preferring the shadows to exist, because otherwise, it’s at nightfall that the transformation takes place. Through sequins, feathers and intoxicating colors, a few hours separate dream from reality, or reality from dream. In the words of Victor Hugo, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” This is precisely what the artist is trying to bring to life, and through which he is giving hope to an entire generation; that of today, and of tomorrow.

Margaux Plessy

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