GenevaPhilippe Favier: CARBONES
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Favier is a draughtsman; if we ask him about the many periods, sometimes very colorful, that punctuate his career, he points out that, in the end, when he stops drawing, it is more out of muscular fatigue than out of taste. He likes to specify that it is also to find a certain freshness that too permanent a drawing practice can dull and sometimes diverts towards a virtuosity of craftsman or worse, towards a feigned clumsiness.
He very quickly perceived that he would never again come across the lightning that made his seven ballpoint pen drawings of August 1980 spring forth; in a handful of minutes, his way of being in the world changed forever. If some people think that he should have left it at that and if he admits that this idea crossed his mind, he says that after this kind of “secular visitation,” he chose to return to the “disorder.”
So, many years later, the arrival of pen-and-carbon drawings was an incredible thrill. Favier had already experimented with this technique at the fine arts school, but without the pen stroke that changes everything and especially without drawing directly on the metal sheet. This way of discovering only afterward the trace left under the carbon by the already forgotten drawing above is an epiphany. One can, with this forger’s weapon, let one’s pen blindly obey a hand freed from the weightlessness of the visible, or, on the contrary, in a kind of novice’s Om̐, to compose, right on the noisy surface of the carbon, a secret score, a promise of an subterraneancalligraphy where blades of grass just scratched will act as punctuations.
And when the pen gets tired, when it blurs the horizons more than it illuminates them, Favier goes away to relax the atmosphere by distributing here and there some lights to immobile puppets without shadow or some shadows to immobile puppets without light. It’s his very personal way to put back once and for all the clocks to their lures.
Courtesy of the artist and Wilde. Photo: Greg Clément