by Eunju Park
In her book Collector published in Seoul, journalist and curator Eunju Park dedicates a long chapter to the impact of art on life. She bases her analysis on the painting of Isabelle Bonzom in which Eunju Park discerns a vital force and a creative abundance. The author views the singular approach of this artist as embodying the constructive and beneficent power of art on the human being.
A collector chooses works of art and builds a collection with a cohesion of his or her own. In her new book entitled Collector, author and art consultant Eunju Park has interviewed several passionate art collectors about their collections and philosophies. This book introduces the reader to, among others, a family perpetuating a collection over three generations, curators and art advisors. Collectors of various nationalities and professions talk about the reasons they started an art collection. They share their motivations for purchasing a particular piece and their criteria for selecting a painting. Their personal insights and stories respond to the curiosity of the public vis-à-vis contemporary art and art collectors. Their genuine anecdotes also reflect the history of art and of collecting as this history is being made today.
As an epilogue, Eunju Park dedicates a 45-page chapter of her book to the impact of art on life. She bases her analysis on the painting of Isabelle Bonzom in which Eunju Park discerns a vital force and a creative abundance. The author views the singular approach of this artist as embodying the constructive and beneficent power of art on the human being, his psyche and thoughts.
"In our societies that are built on the values of work and productivity as well as fixated with appearances and excessive consumption, Isabelle Bonzom’s work opens up inner and spiritual avenues. Her art is a sort of meditation through painting, which relieves the stresses of life, offers a place and time for the rest of the mind. Her painting recharges our batteries with spiritual energy and vitality. For Isabelle Bonzom, an important aim of art is precisely to reconcile human beings with their sensuality and their environment, to heal psychical, emotional and spiritual wounds as well as to provide food for thought and meditation. A part of her work is to welcome the good energies and let them circulate within the painting,” writes Eunju Park.
She adds, “Faced with an Isabelle Bonzom painting, the viewer enters a loving vision that lifts the spirit. An embracing vision of union with nature. Isabelle Bonzom’s paintings make us give thanks for being alive and being what we are today.”
Eunju Park asks the director of the Paul Parquet Foundation to comment on the contribution to the institution of Bucolics, the ensemble of mural paintings that Isabelle Bonzom created in 2013 for the medical staff and the sick and abused children who find a home at the Foundation. « For the kids, these remarkable and brilliant paintings are a real place of exchange, attention, observation, learning and life, » says Joëlle de Roux, director of the Paul Parquet Foundation.
Eunju Park also interviews a dozen collectors of Isabelle Bonzom's paintings about their reasons for choosing her works and what those paintings bring to them. Art critic Colin Lemoine responds this way : « Collecting is letting things decanter, enjoying art through the filter of daily life, of proximity, it's about taming beauty, and Isabelle Bonzom's work is an art of taming that I cannot do without anymore ; here I am, trapped by her exquisite familiarity. »
For her part, journalist Alexandra Stern recounts : « From one painting to the other, I explore every day the journey and thought process of artist Isabelle Bonzom who takes me on her powerful and delicious adventure. » This collector adds that she loves « the diversity of Isabelle Bonzom's themes and the richness of her pictorial language. »
Also interviewed, museum curator and art historian Sabine Cotté tells that « the vitalist artist who is Isabelle Bonzom always paints to the limit, on the border between what is perceived and what is imagined. The transparency and fluidity of her painting are the gateways to this passage. »
Art critic and collector Pierre Sterckx writes : « Isabelle Bonzom's painting titillates the problem of our society which asepticises the human body and death by giving us again the incarnate. Her art is an ocular caress, a lateral movement between the image and the touch, between abstraction and figuration, it's all about the pure instant and the rythmic process of the touch of color, it's not mortiferous, it's a danse, a sober jubilation. »
Below: copies of the book Collector, with in the front cover a painting by Eric Fischl Art Fair Booth#1, Oldenburg's Sneakers, 2013