Face Cachée Collection
Uncovering Camouflage, Unveiling Truth.
There are two facets to the notion of identity: one in regards to the self and the other in regards to society. In art, like in many other disciplines, such differentiations often go hand and hand, as an artist’s own identity is constantly shaped by his social surroundings.
In Face Cachée, Charles Leblanc clings to the first definition: that of an internal identity. In this latest series of work by the artist, Leblanc experiments with a new visual language through depiction of veiled Muslim women, a much-heated subject matter certainly familiar to the world of contemporary art.
Charles Leblanc is an artist faithful to his feelings. Conventions aside, Leblanc takes on an atypical path to art-making, guided by nothing else than his own intuition and desire to uncover the fear of self-revelation. By exploring the social reality of veiled women, Leblanc draws an analogy to the universal tendency of human beings to remain behind a protective layer. With this delicate subject, Leblanc is not interested in passing political judgment, nor does he attempt at negotiating a national or religious identity for women. Instead, he is seeking an interior recognition, a re-affirmation of the self.
Above all, Face Cachée offers self-reflection. In fact, the women illustrated represent a metaphor to the internal struggle lived by the artist, and conversely, by each of us. With vibrant colors and quick brushstrokes, abstract yet calculated, Leblanc attributes a new dimension to these women by focusing on their individuality despite physical uniformity and gender. A devotee of quick execution, Leblanc embarks on a lyrical journey with each canvas, starting from concrete outlines and slowly moving towards complete abstraction.
With sound background in graphic design and a consuming passion for car engineering, Leblanc brings an unprecedented, mechanical approach to his paintings, both in composition and spirit, which allows the artist to take apart the various constituents and get to the very substructure of things.
As such, the series Face Cachée calls for a reflection of a universal truth inherited in each human being, though for which many feel reluctant to. It then follows that such a proposition would be capable of carrying the audience onto a higher degree of reflection, discarding the camouflage and uncovering their veiled selves.