Julien Gardair, when cutout means commitment
As gesture in Painting can be either very delicate, smooth, or “de Kooning” like, meaning large and strong, in the art of Cutout you find a wide diversity of gestures.
You can find extremely delicate cutouts with an immaculate paper cut as those for example by NY artist Mia Pearlman, or organic cutouts by Georgia Russell, or cutouts can be a mix with collage like the Geometric/cynetic/pop collage/cutouts by Jen Stark, or the collages by Erro and so many other specifics in that genre.
And you have the one of a kind, Julien Gardair
First of all, French born, New York-based artist, Julien Gardair doesn’t use a white virgin paper, he takes anything possible to cut: paper magazines, yoga mats, books, literally anything possible.
His interest is to cut enough to reveal a layer, which will reveal another layer, which will reveal another layer and so on with no “repentir” possible. In the case of the magazine series His only limit is the number of pages. Those layers Gardair reveals are chosen because of the power of either their color or the meaning of the words. As gaming with color refers to acting as a painter, revealing words the way Gardair does refer to the “Affichiste,” a powerful genre lead by Raymond Hains and Jacques Villéglé.
The act of cutting, because it doesn’t allow me to return, creates a sense of emergency. In a way, it is almost performative. In all my cutout series, from the magazines ones to the site specific installations, I set rules which create a framework. It put myself in a very specific state of mind where time feels much longer than it actually is. There I can freely improvise in a deep awareness of what is happening. Cutting creates and destroys at the same time. Because I keep every part, it reveals what links one thing with another.
And because the perfect control of a technique is not enough to make a great artist, Gardair puts content/meaning in his artwork. Actually, the more content he finds, the happiest he is.
Taking the example of his mashup/magazine cutouts (images above), Julien Gardair acts more like a sculptor. Most generally Gardair likes to carve or cut whatever material to find some sort of new mystery to it.
Magazines are not Gardair only source of inspiration. He’s also very good at making its cutouts big, like very very large or smaller like books.
The result speaks for itself:
We clearly see that Julien Gardair has reached a such a level of control in the cutout technique that, from small to large, anything is possible for him. Just the sky is the limit!
I encourage art galleries and collectors to take a closer look at Gardair’s body of work. BCh
See how it looks like when you open the artwork
Born in 1976 in Versailles, France
Works and lives in, Brooklyn New York (since 2007)
1995: BFA from Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Paris-Cergy, France
1999: MFA from Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Paris-Cergy, France
2014: Best in show, Inlight Richmond
2014: Herradura Art Barrel, 2nd prize