Patrice Girard

Born in 1952 in Paris, lives and works in Rhône-Alpes, France

Still Life – Miami, January 1997

Patrice Girard continues his Still Life series in an increasingly poetic manner: the paradoxical movement of fish immobilized in their tissue paper and glass aquarium, the fierceness of life confronted by death before embalmment, the silence of becoming…

His wall sculptures reflect an image of the world of contrasts in which the fragility of paper offsets the apparent permanence of iron. He often encircles his works with old cartwheels that transport us to a bygone yet not so distant era, when man seemed to live in greater harmony with nature.

Always sober, sometimes tinged with humor, his works explore the transparency of being, spanning opaque to translucid. Each time he begins a series, he starts with a raw material, then refines it until only ghostly contours remain.

That is how he completed his last series of Teddy Bears, with just a vague trace left in wax…
Following in the wake of Still Lifes, a new series has just been born.

Starting with an evocative form in untreated wood, Girard hacks into the bleeding heart of the tree and carves out chunks of meat that he paints and hangs from butchers’ hooks. One should remember that when he was a child he decided to become a painter after seeing Soutine’s Bœuf Écorché (Flayed Ox).

And here, after the sardine that feeds our dreams, his carcasses give us food for thought!Yet his slabs of meat in painted wood seem ready to be eaten, sliced or roasted, as if to remind us that nature feeds us all, vegetarians included, in a society where everything is thrown away pellmell; where animals, plants, water, and air are all endangered.

Combining organic forms with elementary forms such as the circle and square, Girard invents an everyday cosmogony related to life and death issues, while cultivating paradoxes: solidity and weightlessness, the living and the dead, the ephemeral and the atemporal.

Lélia Mordoch