An artistic life less ordinary
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An artistic life less ordinary


Prolific French artist Bruno Tanquerel is showcasing his eye-catching artwork in an exhibition titled "Portrait Painting/Intimate-Memory" at Alliance Francaise Bangkok from Thursday until April 1.

In his 60s now, Bruno was born in the Normandy region of France and graduated from Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Thanks to his strong technical inventiveness, his aesthetic is a pastiche of styles in which categories become blurred, a fusion of abstraction and figuration, which transforms the ordinary and every day into dramatic theatricality.

He has lived and worked in several countries (France, the United States, India, and Vietnam) before moving to Bangkok more than 12 years ago. Tanquerel's works have been displayed in more than 20 solo exhibitions and 40 group exhibitions globally.

In his latest exhibition, he searches for the meaning of how one creates intimacy with memories. This could begin with remembering past memories, recording, saving, and transferring them into the depths of one's unconsciousness. Representing these moments is thus linked to the notion of intimacy, he said.

Tanquerel questions what is the meaning of intimate? Is it that which is contained at the deepest level of a person's being, the invisible secret, impenetrable to analysis, that remains generally hidden by appearances? These are open questions he leaves for the viewers to reply.

Artistic creation is derived from muses, intimacy, and romanticism, he said, as the artist looks into his soul for inspiration.

"Romanticism and modern art, intimacy, and spirituality, have a tendency to gravitate towards infinity. True intimacy requires exchange, transparency, reciprocity, and certain vulnerability."

Portrait painting for Tanquerel goes beyond documenting a portrait in painted form.

"What portrait painting does is reveal the image that the artist forms of a person, inspired by their admiration or affection for the subject and his emotional feelings towards them," he said.

"This facet of the art of portraiture can lead the artist to diverge from the simple physical representation of the model. The portrait, at the origin of plastic or visual arts, is an expression of the original desire to 'represent the presence of absent subjects'. "

So how does portrait painting stand apart from other forms of painting?

"Portrait painting is a category intended to show the visual appearance of the model. Beyond the intention to represent the appearance of the human subject, portrait painting responds to the desire to record the character of the person and their way of being."


Bruno Tanquerel's exhibition 'Portrait Painting/Intimate-Memory'. Photo Courtesy of alliance-francaise

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