François Henri-Galland

I love these minimalist watercolor portraits by French artist François Henri-Galland. The simplicity of these amorphous images adds a unique weight to their story, proving that thorough detail is not the only mode in which to convey a poignant message. I imagine these are what souls look like. Some peaceful, some violent, all passionate. And I adore the perspective from which he draws his inspiration for the haunting portraits.

From his site:

I have grown up in a place with no trustworthy news, gossiping and rumor made things worse : pictureless stories, though so close because you always knew the girl whose brother had been killed or a friend of the little girl, or the place where the woman’s body had been found, and the cruelty of such acts were worsened by the absence of evidence.

Living at the outskirt of the world has made my pictureless eyes for ever wounded.
The little girl has dried up, dogs have sat and although houses are peacefully burning in the night, doll’s tea sets waiting for guests who will never come : I remember things I have never seen.

Calling for the spirits, Gonzalez Torres’s expressing love through the simultaneous moves of 2 clocks, or the pile of abandonned clothes in a Bagdad laundrette filmed by Bunuel to show/ testify for the missings, I want to show the untturable/shape my topic/intensify the event. What is around testifies for what is essential, the outside expresses absence even better.

I assign to drawing the reconstruction of story telling. I write by dints of gestures/moves/old black and white revues, colour after dark. I get the aura in a clair-obscur burst.

My writing brings other times/periods but never the good ones. It crosses genres (by series) : portrait, still, genre and history painting. Colour pencils, ink and watercolours put events on a same level, without difference, but always tainted with desire and violence.

Portraits of women in a former whorehouse, others of men in a familiar bar/pub, a posh exhibition thousands of miles away, are the visons I screen.


See more of his work in the gallery.


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