Ghislaine Fremaux

No thrashing can change it, though my flesh is cut to ribbons [Alicia]

pastel, paper, charcoal, paste, 72 x 60 in.

In making portraits, I depict the relationship between a person’s insides and his outsides. The body alone is alien, prefabricated, its making remote and largely arbitrary. It is the soul that animates the body, imbuing its idiosyncrasies, carriage, and the specificity of its form with meaning and magic. I illustrate these, mining for the essential self, and how the subject uniquely inhabits his body.

In these images, the duality of being – the soul vs. its encasement – pursues a feeling of the uncanny. To the viewer, the person portrayed is somehow familiar but utterly singular, a seen object but a self-possessed subject. Drawn in amplified color and scale, flesh is necrotic but animate, the body huge but vulnerable, its mass rich and opulent while also grotesque. I draw with intermittent representationalism, crafting some atemporal world between the ‘real’ and the dream. There, language and cultural notions of beauty cannot exist. Therefore, my every portrait is one of the exoneration from shame.