Dominique de Varine

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Dominique de Varine, "hopi", International Herald Tribune of April 5, 2013, 50,3 x 45cm 

 

For this amateur artist of cut-outs and couplings, the education of the gaze did not evolve within the firm structures of academic art institutions, but has progressively developed,  in  a  voluntarily  truant  manner,  between  scholarly  subject  matter  and commonplace gestures. Dominique de Varine was able to redirect the skills gained during his training as a semiologist, in particular the in-depth analysis he conducted about the  usage of color  in contemporary  marketing strategy,  with  the  purpose of conveying  colors  a  fertile  aspect  in  a  strictly  poetic  practice,  which, paradoxically, asserted slow characteristics – he is the founder of the La Galerie Lente – which in itself is an extreme responsiveness, hic et nunc (here and now).  

It is worth mentioning his passion for reading newspaper that he developed early on in his childhood. A minor incident triggered the creation of his Galipettes in 1994: the random fall of a mere A4 paper sheet on the cover of a sketchbook. This seemingly coincidental moment was followed by a long waiting period before the artist had started using this obvious technique on different mounts, such as paper, binder and glass.  

Dominique de  Varine  consults the  news  media in the  heat  of the moment or  in its afterwardsness. He allows himself to be overwhelmed by the interior contents of a page:  both  formal  and  textual  components.  In  the  initial  moments  of  the consultation,  he  immediately  reacts  with  a  gesture,  which  consists  of  selecting  a page in a newspaper. This responsiveness can be extended by an obvious gestures – that the artist amusedly calls galipette (somersault) – word that takes him back into his  childhood,  and  at  the  same  time,  reminds  him  of  eroticism.  These  simple gestures  are  not  the  manifestations  of  virtuoso  technique.  They  assert  a  complete break with the passive role of the Reader.    

This  given  is  accompanied  by  other  art  gestures  such  as  the  use  of  highlights, splashes and spangle gel. It must be noted, however, that they are not used with the intention of adding a degree of plasticity and suppleness, but rather, they function as indications on the margins of a composite text as to echo, for example, the inner and outer Western pictorial tradition.   These gestures could belong to each and every one of us, if we could apply Robert Filliou’s counter-principles in the manner in which he does in his creative concept.  

On the fringe of everything and nothing, a play is being revealed in its potential of disintegrating signs and references. The magnetic pull between everything and nothing structures the unfolding. On one hand, towards the emptiness, grasped not so much from a scientific perspective or mystical tradition, but rather in relation with the total in a morphogenesis rapport. The emptiness and totality is grasped in their own fragility, in their own dynamic in which they give meaning to each- other.  
On the other hand, color is approached according to its structural foundations, the three primary colors of the painter’s palette, and the light spectrum. Each color is manifested by a line. Each series, a play of parallel or crossed lines, are manifested by the use of particular and necessary materials, such as: felt, tape, neon or pencil.  
It is at the intersection of this gambol that the true nature of the artwork emerges: the real as narration (language) and the manifestation of its development process. It imposes itself in its utopia of raw poetry, infusion, and decantation in the alchemical sense.  
Dominique de Varine’s preference for artists such as Jason Dodge, Ann Veronica Janssens, Donald Judd, Lee Ufan, James Lee Byars, Simon Hantai or Georges Braque, combine heterogenous influences of Pier- Paolo Pasolini, Ferdiand Cheval (Facteur Cheval), Buddhist life-sculptures and prehistoric cave art. 

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