Jean-Luc Verne, a painter, dancer, singer, performer from Nice who exhibited at MoMA in New York, returns to his hometown for an exhibition at the Espace à vente gallery. We met this extraordinary character who knows how to be completely himself. And it does not leave indifferent.
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You will not forget his face.
A shaved head, hoop earrings, contoured smoky black eyes, and skin almost entirely covered in tattoos.
Let’s face it, the man is impressive. In the main room of the Space for Sale gallery, you start to feel more at ease as he turns around to extend his hand to you, eyes open and a wide smile on his metal teeth.
Do we dare to ask him the question that is the title of his exhibition? We begin: “You don’t wear a lot of makeup?”. “never” – said the artist in a soft, almost cheerful voice. His answer will put you at ease.
Jean-Luc Verne is a great artist. I call him a total artist. And who is completely himself.Bertrand Baraudou, sales director
Bertrand Baraudou, who runs the Espace à Vente gallery in the center of Nice, cannot hide his happiness to host this exceptional exhibition of Jean-Luc Verne, which he has been working on for more than a year. “His art is expressed through all media: painting, music, photography, sculpture, dance, choreography… He is a very important figure for Nice and it was important for us to dedicate a true monographic exhibition to him, complete, personal.explains Bertrand Baraud, a long-time friend of the artist.
After our first question to Jean-Luc Verne was crowned with a smiling answer, we begin to develop:
Why is this make-up face (no, not too much!) and this tattooed body exposed on the gallery walls? Jean-Luc Verne poses naked in unlucky poses. As this lover and connoisseur of art history celebrates great masterpiecesApollo and Daphne17th century marble signed Le Bernin, or crucifixion From Goya:
“My body is not a work of art. I don’t do body-art. I beat it because I like it”the artist explains quietly.
I am an art tool.
Whether he poses in front of the photographer’s lens, dances on stage, sings, acts in films, writes, sculpts, Jean-Luc Verne sees his breadth in this. its original medium: painting.
“Painting is the backbone of my life and all my other experiences. It is a place of correction: I make my drawings, I make my body, I make my face, my syntax, my posture, I make myself when I paint a picture. Wrong. Painting is not a field of freedom for me, but a field of correction.”. We touch on the level of demand applied by the artist.
Faces and birds on another part of the exhibition wall. The result of a high-level creative process: Jean-Luc Verne makes the first sketches from the first gesture, then copies them. “Cerocopy kills the painting. It is only a copy of the painting and its correction”. This copy will be degraded by passing it through trichlorethylene for later reworking with black chalk, colored pencil, or eye shadow.
“Whatever the purpose of my painting, it is always enriched by what people see in it pictures that are a little like candy, very sweet, a little poisonous. Or characters that are violent from the front, but mixed with enough humor so that the violence is not an end in itself. Everyone will decide that.”
This duality is perhaps the duality that Jean-Luc Verne composed throughout his life. Sometimes, of course, to live.
Well, I had my worst years there.
He was born in 1966 on the shores of Baie des Anges, Jean-Luc Verne’s life had a complicated and difficult beginning there. Very soon the young man collides with his traditional family.
“I lived in Nice during extremely violent, extremely poor, extremely frustrated years”he explains.
Violence. Dope. Prostitution. A young man of the 80s, with a gothic look, he redeemed himself first through music and then through art, he trained at the municipal school Villa Thiole, then at Villa Arson, the national superior art school.
He is there first a student, then an art teacher for 23 yearsBefore leaving Nice to pursue a career in Paris and abroad.
Here again, the state of mind in which Jean-Luc Verne found Nice is full of nuances and ambiguities. “It’s nice that I’ve been waiting for a long time. Nice is also the city of my late grandmother, who was one of the only people in my family who loved me. Now I’m trying to be proud. It’s like I wanted to fix something.”
Therefore, it is a calmed Jean-Luc Verne who returns to Nice. A man whose chaotic journey, then success, allowed him to speak in all sorts of ways. A man willing to share his art and his fascinating universe.
“Don’t you wear a lot of make-up? – No” exhibition. On until January 7, 2023 at Espace à vente in Nice.