The COVID-19 outbreak has imposed restrictions in movement. As part of an ongoing initiative, photographers of Magnum Photo are sharing information and new work made in these strange and difficult times.
Figurative, Claire Tabouret’s work, in layers and transparencies, which combines solids, thicknesses, and fluidities, reveals a shifting reality.
The artist works based on photographs, drawing upon her personal archives as much as anonymous clichés harvested during her research, capturing figures frozen in an indefinable space-time, in order to advance a new reading of their presences and their appearances.
Inhabited by certain characters, the need to not let them go, to identify them more precisely, pushed the artist to rework them individually, isolating them in small format works or acrylic on paper, or in giving them corporality in ceramic busts.
In her, the portrait, whether it is of a group or an individual, is a living genre, to the point where it becomes poisonous, vindictive, a protest. The characters are extracted from their environments, contexts, and bearings, and propelled to the heart of a pictorial space that is enigmatic, somber, and embarrassing. Intimacy is the fundamental dynamic of her approach.
The viewer perceives it, senses it, even with discomfort at times, in the stubborn faces of her characters, which suggest a strong interior life. The artist also makes us enter in the material itself of her scenes captured and reformulated. Through the canvases, she deploys a universe filled with histories, memories, and possible projections. The intimate is the existential arc that, from inside to outside, between identity and otherness, connects all her figures, whether they be painted, drawn, or sculpted, to the gazes which fall upon them.