ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
Henri Gueguen
Maria Callas Wood & Glass 36” x 27”
or many years,”
Henri Gueguen
says, “I have wanted to honor famous women of the twentieth century.” His images
honor women in two distinct, yet complementary ways. He honors individual women in a series of striking portraits
that cover a broad range of personalities — from Anne Frank to Rosa Parks to such iconic film stars as Marilyn Monroe
(whom Gueguen paints as a nurse) and Rita Hayworth. While those portraits are notable for their ability to capture the
personalities of the women and their strong graphic compositions, what is perhaps most unique about them is the
unconventional selection of media that the artist uses as a backdrop.
His images of Ivanka Trump and Julia Roberts are done in lacquer on a geometrically precise field of Bic pens. “The concept
of the Bic pens,” the artist says, “is to create many linear, vertical and hexagonal readings.” A portrait of Princess Diana is
painted on a background of neon tubes. In all of these works, the artist challenges us, complicating the depiction of his
famous subjects, and making the process of reading his images
one in which the viewer must take an active role. Gueguen says
that his goal is to perpetuate the memories of these women,
and his images give them a new dimension and sense of life.
Gueguen also honors women by honoring the clothes they
wear, painting elegant scenes of the fashion world. In these
works, the painter’s sense of line, color and proportion are
reminiscent of a designer’s sketchbook, but they are also
something much more. He incorporates groups of stylishly
clothed models (exemplifications of his ideal of “the tall, slim
lady”) into seductive abstract patterns that take fashion as
their inspiration but move into another realm entirely — one
in which beauty is celebrated in its many forms.
Henri Gueguen
Anne Frank Lacquer on Bic Pen 40” x 40”
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