Dominique de Varine
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.