Georges MEURANT 2005

"Joelle Delhovren represents the human person, exclusively. She started drawing as a young child. This natural mode of expression grew with her into adulthood. She naturally studied and worked in visual communication but it left her frustrated until a decade ago, when she dedicated herself to painting, a solitary act, a singular art.
Whilst working in the meaning-enhancement industry however, she created notebooks with images and words, with puns focused on eight major themes: Icon-iconography-iconoclast, Human Figure in Emotion, Grand, Space, The Human Body, Moucharabieh, Constantin’s Dream, Résistances. They are contrasted or paradoxical patchworks, collages with panels and drawers, inserts of plotted or painted drawings, photographs, objects, subverted, dovetailed, superimposed with or without overlays or openings. They are scaffolds, serial repetitions, progressions and breaks. She portrays and thus reveals the dehumanizing codes that feed the spinning wheels of our consumer society aimed at alienating instead of federating. They are the daily affirmation, embued with empathy and compassion, of humanism craving to be shared.
Delhovren paints portraits based on her own photographs. Cropping is the first decision you make in painting . Hers disregards the background. The entire space has to come from the subject, who becomes one with the canvas and emerges from it. The representation largely exceeds natural dimensions. The figure (the head, or the torso and and upper limbs, hardly ever beyond) is built by volumes, from the larger to the smaller. The elements are articulated and detached, brushed, cut with a hand obeying the eye - an eye that has learned how to see - right into the skin, an interface rather than texture per se. Her work is realistic, uncompromising, refined yet unpretentious - the less the better. Colour - oil on unbleached linen - , is reduced to the bare minimum, and is mainly red, white and black, in chiaroscuro rather than contrasting tones. The artist meets and finds herself in her work. Her portraits track the vulnerable under the traces left by life. They are mute as much as the notebooks are loquacious - yet they pursue the same goal. They try to show the bond that links us all. Joelle DELHOVREN invites fellow artists (and friends of friends) to her thematic notebooks. Two have been published to date. They offer a platform for individual views and philosophies.