David Rappeneau at Crèvecoeur

Artist: David Rappeneau

Exhibition title: $+€

Venue: Crèvecoeur, Paris, France

Date: July 1 – 22, 2017

Photography: © Aurélien Moleall images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris

You’re sure to find a crowd of influences, and references, and yet the harder you try to pinpoint them, the less easy it gets to identify them. Of course, it’s not Guido Crepax, it’s not Enki Bilal, and it’s not Bernard Buffet. Nor is it Feininger. Nor Alice Neel, nor Schiele. And not Mattoti.

The trait is bold and angular, with sharp corners, on branded papier: Athena.

The faces are emaciated, the expressions neutral, we no longer look at one another, but nor do we ignore each other. We’re simply there, close by. In an insolent intimacy that is rather off-putting because it’s just for the young. And we’re a bit less young, just look at them. Chicago. Kappa.

We’re plunged into idleness, lethargy, maybe frivolity, and gravity for sure. And so, what are they doing? Com-8, Perrier.

A wide-angle lens unveils, through high and low-angle shots, head-spinning landscapes with Plexiglas balconies, rusted air-conditioning, pointless houses and torturous cypresses. Something like a suburb, apparently. Or else in a rather dehumanised town of the future? Leroy-Merlin, Carrefour.

There are recurring motifs, like these wisps, that can be found in cigarette smoke, or the locks of shameless girls’ hair, or the zones in a sky overlooking this (non) action.
Like these lacerations: in the folds of synthetic jackets, in the hollows of leopard-skin leggings, on all the phalanges of outsized hands. Emerica, H&M.

Two different series, one in acrylic and fusain on cardboard; the other – in a smaller format – on paper that’s so ordinary that it gets ripped sometimes, with drawings done with biros and crayons, maybe. Helly Hansen.

Art history brims over with domestic scenes and portraits. It’s what we’ve got here, too. But here, there are no bourgeois interiors, touching families, or described personalities. A little bit of blood, lots of gratings, windows and bars, a few false nails. Cash Converter.

It’s David Rappeneau, to be listened to without a play-list, to be swallowed without a dietary complement, to be watched without subtitles. A bit like everything that’s there around us. 2017.