Open: Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm

33 & 36 Rue de Seine, 75006, Paris, France
Open: Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm


Winshluss: Something is burning

Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris

Fri 10 Nov 2023 to Fri 22 Dec 2023

33 & 36 Rue de Seine, 75006 Winshluss: Something is burning

Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm

Artist: Winshluss

For his fifth solo show at the gallery, Winshluss (Vincent Paronnaud) confronts us with a burning reality. Something is burning - the exhibition's title - sets the tone: yellow, pink, red, everything indeed is on fire! I told you so, he sneers...

Installation Views

Through a new series of large-scale drawings, Winshluss asks a question present in his work as a cartoonist, a visual artist or a filmmaker: what space is left for the individual in society? No answer to that query, other than the artist's grating laughter: sometimes when I get up in the morning, I'm irritated by what I hear and see. Iʼm flabbergasted, I'm desperate and then, I laugh... What else can I do? It's all so absurd!

In the first drawing, a cigarette is burning between the teeth of a laughing skull – mirthless laughter, no doubt. He's laughing himself to tears. From his absent eyes, mouth and nostrils, a rainbow-colored stream pours forth -

This skull cackles in our faces, free and impertinent: it's got the good life, a colorful life, between flaming butterflies and red-eyed roses with dilated pupils, in eternal complacency.
Ultimately, the skull seems far more into Peace & Love than Barbapapa, who finds himself trapped in the stench of a heap of garbage in another work on paper, or than White Man - Winshluss's alter-ego -, trapped in an hourglass, caught short by time and life. In yet another work, a smiley face with kissing lips lights up a neon-pink sky like a shooting star. It blazes towards a gray, rocky earth where a few daisies still remain; as do two beings, a man and a woman. They stand back-to-back, smiling at their smartphones. Networks are humanity in all its disgusting splendor, says the artist in a 2021 interview in Les Cahiers de la BD.

At the center of the gallery, it's atomic war... An attack perpetrated against Barbapapa. Winshluss' work is linked to childhood imagery, even in times of war. Children have always played war, nothing new here. In this world adrift, Barbapapa, who was born in 1970
(the same year as Winshluss) in a garden, like a flower, lacks his former glory. He seems to have undergone "a few mutations", and is now Barbapapatonic - a fluorescent monster with tentacles, the target of everyone's gaze: a horde of armed men, tanks, and helicopters rushes towards him. This installation, shown for the first time at the gallery, was specially created by Winshluss in 2013 for his major exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs - Un monde merveilleux (A Marvelous World).

Ecology, social networks, nuclear power, war, pandemics, Winshluss combines them all, analyzing the mess that is mankind.

And so begins J'ai tué le soleil, his latest album, published by Gallimard in 2021: "[...] the only problem is knowing how to use your neuroses," says Winshluss, borrowing from Arthur Adamov. The hero of this picaresque and sordid tale is Karl, one of the few survivors of a worldwide pandemic, which he seems to have forgotten due to a nasty head wound... But his amnesia hasn't entirely erased his plan, because yes, Karl has a plan: to kill all humanity, and with it, the sun of course. For the first time, a series of original plates from this album will be presented to the public in the gallery's project room, their grisaille, pencilled, nervous aesthetic providing a counterpoint to the psychedelic colors and shapes of the rest of the exhibition.

Something is burning.... You can laugh or cry. Winshluss offers us the chance to do both at the same time!

Agate Bortolussi

WINSHLUSS, Something is Burning 10.11 – 22.12.2023, 36 rue de Seine. Courtesy Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris. Photo : Aurélien Mole

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