During one of my safaris in Charleroi, I met one of those people who unknowingly make a small but memorable impact on your life. One of our visitors, a former fashion photographer converted to rust and abandoned fetish, told me about this good old friend of hers, a painter, that I should check out. Half convinced, I scribble his name down to discover later one of my now favourite painters. Abstract paintings with figurative allusion, or the other way around, with subtle colour combination and a dash of irony and cynicism.
ID: Denis Castellas is French. Born in 1951 in Marseille (France). Lives and works in Nice (France).
Approach: Similarly to Marcel Proust, Denis Castellas works by memory reminiscences of sensations which he displays in a eclectic iconography. His work documents fragments of culture from Mozart to porn and comic strips. He manages to elusively catch his characters, making him a figurative painter working like an abstract one.
Style: He works on his canvas as he would play poker, every brushstroke is a bid: translucent layers combined with rough scrubbing and spontaneous drips; the whole reworked with crossed-out lines and marking; subtle combination of vibrant colours which occasionally punctuates grayish/pastel tones.
Quote: “We should doubt everything, including our tears”
More on his website: http://www.deniscastellas.com