“The Twelve labours of Mansfield Park” by Arthur Gillet | Paris

One of our favorite creatives from Paris, Arthur Gillet , rolls out this charming series of plates titled, “The Twelve labours of Mansfield Park.” See these in person exhibited at at Portefoin (Paris), from  March 1 -31st. In front of the camera, behind the paintbrush, Arthur Gillet is one of the most fascinating humans I’ve ever encountered. He should be on all of your radars.

Artist statement:

Hercules suffers a major disgrace. He’s poor. A fit of madness brings him to kill his own family. When he recovers sanity, guilt afflicts him. The Delphic oracle offers to purify him  by dispossessing himself of everything, even his freedom. Queen Omphale of Lydia buys him as a slave, and Hercules shall be her female companion. Attired with jewellery and delicate dress, he will learn to handle the needle just as he used to handle the club. Omphale is demanding but Hercules progresses, also on her heart. However, history is a chest with  treasures we spill on the floor. His greatest erections and the wars merge into a jingling cacophony, covering the past by successive coats. Ovid, Seneca, Rubens will not forget this romance. But we will have to wait until the end of the 18th century to see the return of Hercules from the great exhumed cities, painted by Hubert Robert. Society unties itself from the heavy pomp to preserve the dignified simplicity of the sculptures. Look at his face between the marbles of the Tuileries Garden ! His face is afflicted by melancholia ! His club is nothing but a crutch for his heavy body ! And for good reason. Like his sculptural predecessors, Hercules is gone for Georges III’s England, caught between the heritage of the Grand Siècle and the opening on the sublime landscapes of the romanticism. He’s hosted by charity in the sumptuous residence of Sir Thomas Bertram. He’s neglected, nay mistreated, but he will perform an unexpected ascent, and this evolution seems to be based only on his own merits, his rigour, his infallible judgement, his independent spirit.

See show from March 1 -31st  at Portefoin, 5 rue portefoin, Paris, France

Artist bio:

Arthur Gillet studied at the Fine Art School of Rennes, and contemporary dance at Musée de la Danse. He participated at the SalonSatellite of the International Salone del Mobili of Milan. After graduation, and a long pilgrimage in Italy, Arthur moved to Paris in 2012 where he has exhibited installations and performances at MAC/VAL, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Palais de Tokyo. He has mainly collaborated with Cassina, John Mayburry, François Chaignaud, Cecilia Bengolea, and Louis Phillipe Scoufaras. In 2015 he won a prize for young talent at the international Parisian fair of design Maison & Objet, for the ceramics project “Seven erections”. His work around identity, desire, image and perception of reality makes him play largely with his own body and his own image as seen through other’s perception by creating a broad spectrum of identities. Questionning gender but also genres, he’s infiltrating publications, such as erotic, fashion, or artistic projects. Playing with genres implies here also to confuse social delimitations bitween model and artist, object and subject, litterally referred to the symbolic and social organization of power and desire bitween bottom/passive and top/active. His happening in the masculine nude exhibition at Musée d’Orsay and the performance-installation « Je t’aime bien mais je n’aime pas ton image » at Pierre-Alain Challier’s Gallery is more obviously related to this experimental and empirical approach of the « modeling » role as non-passive in the process of image manufacturing, through the tools of the era of dematerialization.

The three little pigs Photo : Marc Martin – Marc Martin Modèle : Arthur Gillet