Arno is a French artist, a bit anachronistic, he dedicates his creation to meeting and sharing, and he shows it in a different way, apprentice handyman and a bit alchemist, he is curious about every technic. He paints with oil colour, spray and gold leaves.
The painting project is the most intimist part of his art, he does it in a lonely way, all night long, with music … “ I use a precise classical oil painting technic for the faces, the skin part and expressions, and get more graphical and almost abstract for the clothes, the background and the hair , mixing all sorts of technics . “I’m fascinated about the geisha aesthetic, I mean: forgetting comfort or simply normal or natural way to be a human for the sake of beauty … like classical dance or puppets, it’s an artificial and under control way of beauty.” “I like mixing various codes, with a general Japanese style blended with all the things that have inspired me so far, such as music, street art, jeweller’s craft ,fashion ,movies, etc … “ Arno re-introduces handicraft in art, trying, always keeping open eyes, smiling, traveling to discover and share . “ I am exactly where I have to be” Arno’ s painting is not realistic and neither is naturalistic. He creates his own atmosphere, like the inside of a landscape: universal women beauty, dream about femininity, like the synthesis of all codes of beauty, like a goddess. He is always works and searches for the unreachable alter ego. This topic is not present in his photography.
According to Arno, he has got three references in his work, three artists about whom he wants to know everything: Vinci, Klimt and Warhol … this comes from this kind of "Mona Lisa” of infinitely repeated and trimmed like an oriental princess. He always works the same way: from his carbon pencil, tracing on the canvas, Lascivious bodies and then gets them dressed with delicate colours, gold and luxury baroque style that fit there curves or hides their sensual parts. His substantive gold part reminds us about Klimt’s work and Byzantine mosaic as well: these women became stylised graces, they attract and reflect the light. It could be surprising to meet a young designer using a delicate and mannerist way to express himself in his painting. He shows us an abstract way of thinking, looking for timelessness,
He only takes photographs with hundred years old camera, home-made modified for Polaroid film. He builds his tools as he needs, and doesn’t really care about fashion and gadget." a camera is a tool, the brain is the real photographer. Indeed, to me it’s logical to design and modify a camera to have the exact result … the opposite is a nonsense «Using Polaroid is a way to think about everything before pushing the button and closing the shutter.
There is no negative film, no possibility of editing, this is an unique piece, so i choose a kind of camera which needs to take time. “Working with a field camera is more like a drawing, for me, than a classical photography. Isolated under the black sheet, focusing with a magnifying glass, I compose the image, control and check the blurry effect, the light etc … and then push the shutter and peel of the protection film, I like the part when the picture is finally complete and i can see the result … this is magic.”
The ethic of the photography is also important. Arno chooses this way to take pictures because you can’t steal an image. “You have to meet the people, to explain, to share and then ask for posing … it’s a long process, but a fair one….” In his travelling project named “one for you, one for me “, Arno always takes two pictures when everything is ready,“ I give the first one and keep the second for me, it’s an unbreakable rule” “… and I really enjoy travelling for a long time with my heavy camera to give their first picture to some people, it’s an intense meeting every time … a way of life ”
Anne Egger, Doctor in Art History and specialist about Surrealism, Middle Age and Flemish art. She is a writer, an iconographer and a curator.