superzoom @ New Galerie, Charles Hascoët, Yuki_Snow_In_July
January 16 - January 30, 2021
2 rue Borda, 75003
photo credit: Aurélien Mole
On the occasion of its invitation by the New Galerie, superzoom presents a solo exhibition by Charles Hascoët: Yuki_Snow_In_July. The project consists in a series of small oil paintings reproducing instagram publications of a cat: @yuki_snow_in_july. Instagram generated the inception of self-promotion trends, mems and selfies. Among the paradoxical successes of this broadcasting 2.0: cats. With regards to certain traditions of portraiture paintings, the series relies on biographical elements of the artist and model. Three years ago, Hascoët gifts Marion Dana, who tends the New Galerie, a little white paw named Yuki. Not unlike many cat owners, Marion Dana decides to create an instagram account for her cat, Yuki. Marion Dana falls within the cultural tradition of a cat person: Authors, musicians, gallerists etc. Whom their cats have along the 19th and 20th century been more or less claimed and exposed: on an office, during an interview…
The way cats intrude in the private, public, sentimental or simply slim spaces is well known. Yuki ends up investing the gallery. If Charles Hascoët places himself in the context of the commission portraiture; the latter being both the subject and the object of the painting. But who stages himself? Who flatters who? who sees himself in whom: Yuki in Marion in Charles? Or vice versa.The compositions of the paintings follow the framing of instagram photography, relatively normed as the image is destined to be “readable” on a smartphone screen. The artist takes the transposition further by naming the canvases after the captions, keeping the hashtags and emojis.
The human figures do not appear often in Hascoët’s paintings and the faces are cropped out. Following the animal like visions of the cartoon Tom and Jerry, where the only aspects of the figure are his slippers, like a punctual reminder of reality.
The complete series was painted during sanitary confinement, working in the artist studio finding like an echo in the idleness of an owner without his cat for company. It seems the presence of domestic animals have contributed to a certain improvement of the population’s mental health during that period. However, the portraits in regard to Yuki, Marion and Charles seam to allude to the question of what to do of oneself (and of his cat).