Born in 1955, Crest, FR
Lives and works in Paris, FR
Doing the maximum with the minimum, highlighting the difference, the strange, the « outside » by means of the most banal and hackneyed referents: that is Pierre Ardouvin’s artistic economy. His use of domestic materials, motifs and objects, manifestly subverted, is designed to challenge the emotions without really tricking the perceptions. The point, precisely, is to reveal the potential for the infernal and the marvellous contained in these commonplace material bodies — their natural reserve of dreams and nightmares, these being the two faces of one and the same faculty for wildness and escape, however prosaic and tangible their reality. And always, he maintains an ambiguous balance between pleasure and unease, intimacy and danger, suspension and fall.
This imaginative charge takes us directly back to the realm of childhood, which constitutes the work’s subjacent temporal reference. The point is not to celebrate its so-called innocence but, on the contrary, to discover its emotional cruelty. The relation to play and toys is indeed manifest, and redoubles the recurrent practice of falsely naive drawings and watercolors and, in a more literary way, the references to the world of fairy stories.