LÉNAÏC G. MERCIER
NEW YORK CITY
The encounter between the Painter Chantal Westby and the Photographer and Multimedia Artist Lénaïc G. Mercier was one of those fortunate meetings between two artists who immediately realize they share a common vision.
This meeting, and the realization of their shared passion, occurred at the time of Chantal's exhibition, "Kaleidoscope" in Nantes, France in 2014.
Although traditionally Painting and the photography of art are considered parallel disciplines, they decided to combine their talents in a collaborative project entitled "Fiat#Lux".
Lénaïc's unique photographic gaze imparts a dreamlike quality to the scene as Chantal creates highly emotional works utilizing Chinese inks and natural mineral pigments. Before the camera"s eye the painters hands poses the brush on the canvas and the ensuing mixture of inks and pigments is registered in a unique combination of two artistic disciplines.
La rencontre entre Chantal Westby, artiste peintre et Lénaïc G. Mercier, photographe et artiste multimédia, fait partie des instants de vie que l'on qualifie de rares.
Dès leur premier échange de regard au cours du vernissage de l'exposition "Kaléidoscope" de Chantal en France en 2014, une connexion s'est immédiatement installée entre eux. Une évidence.
Habituellement, la photographie d'art et la peinture sont deux univers parallèles.
Chantal et Lénaïc ont laissé ici s'unir leur monde respectif autour d'un projet artistique collaboratif intitulé "FIAT#LUX".
À travers la photographie onirique de Lénaïc, Chantal crée ses toiles avec émotion où se mélangent les encres de Chine et les poudres minérales naturelles.
Sous l'objectif, la main tient les pinceaux sur la toile, comme un chemin de vie se dessinant.
Où lorsque le mélange des encres reflète le mélange des arts.
PAINTINGS - PHOTOGRAPHS - FILMS - SOUNDS - VIDEO MAPPING - SCENTS
a UNIQUE and IMMERSIVE experience for people.
FIAT LUX — a Latin phrase meaning “Let there be light” — is a collaborative project by multimedia artist and photographer Lénaïc G. Mercier, and internationally acclaimed painter Chantal Westby, that doesn’t confine itself to photographs and paintings alone, but realizes through this site-specific installation an entirely immersive experience, at once utopian and intimate.
Developed by the two French artists in New York City, this installation is a study in process, where the character-driven photography of Mercier reflects on the creative practice of Westby, intimately detailing the stages of development
involved in Westby’s use of Chinese inks and natural mineral pigments to form figures, lines, and shapes.
Incorporating not only pictorial methods, but scents and sounds as well, “FIAT#LUX - The Immersive Exhibition” is a unique take on the compartmentally separated genres of painting and photography, bringing both to life in a way that would be impossible if not for the overlapping of several media.
The result is a thoroughly enveloping experience, where viewers use not only their eyes, but the full range of their senses to participate in the scenes Westby creates. As Mercier’s photographs capture the embodied labor that goes into creating Westby’s impassioned, often surreal brand of art, the documentarian lens of his camera is taken to its limit, focusing not simply on recording a moment, but on retracing the emergence of a process — one that has as much to do with an artist working in her studio as with the productive imagination from which her artwork stems.
As suggested by the title, “FIAT#LUX” makes the private public, bringing to light the invisible history that goes into making a work of art. The way the artists have chosen to make the underbelly of an artwork visible is by transposing both painting and photography onto the plane of another medium. The techniques underlying documentary photography,
the manual labor that goes into the genesis of a painting, is translated into a digital sensorium: video mapping, a diffusion of lights, as well as music, are all used to expose the operations that tradition, along with aesthetic criticism, customarily conceals.