Bio & CV
Painting Flesh
Wall Paintings
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For Isabelle Bonzom, the painting is a body living and sensual, a space for reflection, experimentation and jubilation. Rich in paradoxes, her painting is altogether grave and jubilatory, tonic and savory as it suggests and reveals.

« It is a paradox. The rift that occurs when the conflicts between the inside and the outside of our lives are made visible. You seem to be saying to me, through the vision of your painting, “If you see a leaf on fire, could you understand love? If you see trees explode with the force of a waterfall but burn hot with desire would you finally realize that love has consumed you?», writes artist Eric Fischl in his text about Isabelle Bonzom, entitled “Entre nous” (Between us). Read the entire text here.

An ensemble of synergies, Isabelle Bonzom's work weaves a dialogue between the medium and its support, the painting and its subject, art and its environment. Every project, therefore, becomes a new adventure. For her, painting has its place everywhere, not only on canvas but also on wood, terra cotta, steel and on walls; painting belongs as much in private as in public places, as much inside as outside.

«In her jubilation in the visceral act of creating, one senses that new pictorial territories are being opened to her and by her,» notes art historian Vincent Cristofoli about Isabelle Bonzom.

While simple at first glance, the art of Isabelle Bonzom is complex in its pictorial language, combining freshness and maturity, intuition and knowledge. Her touch breaks up the elements of the representation, and yet, connects.

« Strength and tranquility strike the viewer in Isabelle Bonzom’s paintings but, first, unusual limpidities,» says philosopher Baldine Saint Girons.

This epicurean artist focuses on the flesh of the painting which is the body of the image. Her painting is about relationships, it is based on networks of pictorial layers, vivid chromatic relations, overflows of fluids, and gushes. Picture planes are overlapping or contrasted. Black colors are deep and luminous, even white proves itself to be a carnal and fertile color (read, see and listen here).

"A world perpetually gushing, created by some Danaë?... I want to know why Isabelle Bonzom paints those snowflake shaped dabs that make one feel the brush hurrying down, perhaps toward a final dissolution... “ I like things to be about to fall,” says Isabelle. Ha! Here we are! At this exquisite, delicious, frightening point where gravity takes over gravitas." writes Annette Smith, art collector and Emeritus Professor of Literature at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Her two main and recurrent themes are the representation of the flesh (through series of dolls, male nudes, meat and smiles) and the landscapes ( cityscapes, construction sites, urban forests, etc.)

«Isabelle Bonzom has developed themes as varied as urban forests, meats and nudes. But the invariant thread is her concern with incarnation. She paints the fluid evolution of the flesh, the turmoil of bodies and their passages,» writes art critic Pierre Sterckx. Read a conversation between Pierre Sterckx and Isabelle Bonzom.

Art historian and museum curator, Sabine Cotté, adds «I am struck by the fact that Isabelle Bonzom, a vitalist artist, always paints themes that push to the limits. The Poilu, that’s really a monument to the dead soldiers of World War II. The dolls, it’s a battleground. The meat is not rotten but it will rot. There is always this melange of life and death. That is what’s behind those themes.»

What is important is the way that those themes are dealt with and transformed by the painting which, itself, reacts and undergoes a metamorphosis with every series or even every picture. The relations between image and painting are intimate, rich and intense.

For art critic and psychologist Paola Cocchi, «Isabelle Bonzom’s painting is always on the edge, it gives a feeling of vertigo as regards the perception of images.»

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