VISIONARY REVUE

PIERRE PEYROLLE

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PIERRE
PEYROLLE

    

      When admiring a reproduction of Peyrolle's paintings, the viewer may, at first glance, mistake them for 'phantastic photographs'. And indeed, so accurate and technically perfect is his brushwork, that these large hyper-realist canvases may trompe l'oeil or 'trick the eye' into believing their visions are a reality.
      But, more than that, the angles, colours, degrees of focus and reflections speak of a painterly sensibility educated by photography and cinema - and then transcending them.

      According to Peyrolle: "The more fantastic you want to be, the more realistic you must be. A painter can only create a poetic or visionary image with those things that already exist. Hence the need for photography and cinema, as references. Meanwhile, painting must, in its own way, keep apace with photography and cinema by incorporating their ways of seeing... (32)
      "There are certain 'codes', certain ways of seeing in photography which interest me, and which I appropriate for myself in my painting. But photos are simply a way of recording things. Artists must then use the photographic elements to make a genuine work of art. Finally, it is the artist who accomplishes the overall atmosphere and scenography."
(33)
      And he adds cautiously:
      "Hence, they eye must be educated, first of all, through the history of art. The memories we hold of certain paintings are very important. We are the last link in a long chain in painting's evolution. With each work we create, we must revive that memory - through the art of painting itself." (34)
      In fact, Peyrolle's work reflects his fascination, not only with images from popular media, but also with old masters like Dali, Vermeer and Böcklin. He has meticulously researched Dali's hyper-realist techniques, learned all of Vermeer's optical secrets, and immersed himself time and again in Böcklin's imaginary world.


 
 
 


PARIS - FALL 2004


THE GHOST OF THE CUPUCHINS - Pierre Peyrolle

      "We are loaded with the accumulation of images from our culture's past," he says. "All the great artists of the past have arisen from those who preceded them. And so, we must proceed by way of the greatest painters - like Poussin, Vermeer, Velazquez. A painter must find his inspiration, not in nature, but in other painters." (35)
      Still, the pivotal question remains. Passionately, Peyrolle inquires "How can I conduct myself as a painter, given the state of painting at this time in history? How can I create, for this century, the most beautiful cosmogony possible?" (36)
      The answer - for him at least - lies in the mystery of the memory-image. With eyes wide open to the immense sources of imagery offered by modern media, he has responded nevertheless with the soul of a Romantic poet. For he has found in each image that captivates his eye the resonance of a more personal memory. His art, Peyrolle remarks, is "...the result of many memories converging." (37)
      Solitary and melancholic by nature, the artist has plumbed the depths of his own past and painted the resulting memory images in a language mixing modern photography with eternal masterpieces.
"I have a rather dark and hopeless vision" Peyrolle admits, "nostalgic and melancholy. But I speak of those events deep in the psyche of man." (38)
      
His works, when taken accumulately, portray the gradual awakening of a human being as he passes from birth, through childhood and youth to maturity, old age and death. But how can an artist portray memories of these fantastic events, without resorting to symbols?


 
 
 


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