The incarnation has two main meanings: it is the concrete manifestation of an abstract reality; and the form in which a deity appears [1]. It is this second meaning of the word that first comes to mind.

Since the Trecento, the most intellectual painters have been interested in the Incarnation. They managed to figure it out by a disorder in perspective [2]. Disorder that I wanted to represent here, first with a mix of styles, then with an improbable sense. How can a man of adulthood and good flesh escape from the wing of an angel? And yet, the scene is there. An angel comes to announce the immeasurable: God incarnating. But in a very human body, far from the classic ideal of the body of the suffering Christ.

Another detail is at stake. The insemination of Mary by the ear is a recurring theme by a large number of authors: “divine word worth act” [3]. It is also a frequent theme in the mythologies of exceptional beings. And he recalls what Freud called “infantile sexual theories”. For the child who is confronted with the sexual enigma of procreation is basically in the same position as the adult who seeks to understand the conception of Christ by the Virgin. Does the spiral on which the man rests, do not he recall an ear?

Indeed, all the elements are there. The trumpets cheering the divine word, the announcing angel, then the incarnation. There is (just) an offset in time. The angel announces the coming of God, so how can his Son already be there? Shift also spatio-temporal. The interests of this man do not seem quite Catholic: a bottle (of alcohol?), A pack of cigarettes, a radio kubo [4].

Here alone the angel “rock-and-roll” is in color, a style rather infantile, painting crazy? It was not the name of raw paint, matter? The man has more a classic style (normal, he is terrien!), While the warning signs, them, tend to get closer to the comic strip.

Issues addressed

Questioning the figuration of an incommensurable concept.

Concepts addressed:

– Divine / Terrestrial
– Real / unreal
– Abstraction / figuration
– Materiality / immateriality
– Gesture / sign
– Hardness / fragility
– Surface / volume illusion
– Infantilism / maturity
– Culture of the surface / art of memory
– Reference field
– Basquiat’s underground painting
– Fahamu Pecou for the news of his subjects
– The fight for the memory of Ernest Pignon-Ernest
– Cy Twombly and his mix of styles
– The graphic design of William Kentridge
– The late Daniel Arasse for his writings

[1] Larousse Dictionary.

[2] Daniel Arasse, Stories of Paintings, Ed. Folio, 2006.

[3] For example, at Melchior Broederlam, Annunciation and Visitation, 1394-1399.

[4] A nod to my website:

School Third year work in the visual arts, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, ParisMaterialsGraphite, felt and pastelYear2018

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