BERTRAND DELACROIX GALLERY is thrilled to present YANNICK FOURNIÉ’s work to New York City for the first time this May. Fournié, a native of southern France, has established himself as a bold and provocative figurative painter. The new collection presents men and women wearing colorful Mexican wrestling masks, a topic the artist has been exploring over the past few years. As for the motivation behind this subject choice, Fournié cites a meaningful experience he had while visiting a small town in Mexico. A short time after attending a match of Lucha Libre, a form of professional Mexican wrestling, he came across one of the wrestlers – or luchadores– in his everyday clothing, yet still masked, at a local grocery store. In fact, most luchadores are never seen by the public or press without these masks. Fans flocked around the fighter as he shopped for quotidian items and Fournié saw that the man was regarded as a hero.
On this experience, Fournié states:
Creating work around Mexican Wrestling masks arose from this unexpected meeting, from this contrast between the ordinary individual with the extraordinary and popular symbol. Without being a Mexican wrestling fan, I use those masks as graphic and colored metaphors: Masks are the representation of the individual in the society. In the paintings, I put a mask in everyday life acts, and submit for consideration: What mask do we put on to exist or to be recognized in our society? Does it allow us to hide what we really are or to bring us to light a little more?
Fournié’s large, colorful works are extremely expressive and many of his subjects confront the viewer face-on, forcing them to question not only the identity of the subject but consider questions about their own identity and role in society. However, it is not only the unusual content that sets his work apart; his painterly technique and mastery over the human figure add to the power of his paintings.
The artist was born in 1972 in the South of France. After enrolling at the École des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux, he eventually decided to join the army and afterward, pursued a career in sports. In 2011, he gave in to a lifelong desire to paint. For the past four years, Fournié has done just that: he has looked inward and painted powerful and imagined worlds fraught with aesthetic magnetism and symbolic meaning. He now lives and paints in Biarritz, France. He will attend the opening reception on May 28.
For further information, prices and photographic material please contact Elizabeth Thompson at 212-627-4444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.