Working

THE WORK
I am concerned with a portrayal of people and their bodies that is ethical and visceral.
My drawings are experimental ruminations on embodiment and the event of seeing and being seen by another person.
My process and its yield query the intersubjective encounter, and the skin and gaze that mediate it.


PRINCIPLES AND METHODS
With the exception of special projects, I work only with partners and friends.
Ordinarily, I do not ask people to work with me; I prefer to be invited.

To make drawings, I first meet with people and photograph them.
The time, date, and location of the meeting are chosen by the subject (addressed here as "you").
I provide a model release form, stipulating the use and handling of the photographs and artwork. It can be downloaded and reviewed here (PDF).

When taking the photographs, I will not instruct you. The retention and prioritization of your agency is key. You will elect/assume your own bodily posture, movement, action, and degree of nudity. We will communicate throughout.

I will take as many photographs as I can.
I am a poor photographer. I cannot wield a camera with any calculating surety; the imaging of your body will not be deft, assertive, or rigorously constructed.
I am instead trying only to grasp at the contents of our encounter. An encounter, a relationship, and a body are intractable. The resultant imagery is duly spontaneous, unstable, and admits to its own fallibility.

I will later revisit the photographs in my studio, and will choose a few of them to draw from. The drawing (v.i.) is cogitation, mining the body and the encounter.


INTENTIONS
In drawing you, I am not interested in using your body for allegory. This is not a drawing 'about' Strength, Beauty, Vulnerability, etc. I do not draw you as a means of pointing to things that are not-you; your likeness and your action are not metaphors.

I am not interested in using your body to present a marvel of craft. This is not a drawing 'about' Gesture, Contrapposto, Compositional Balance, Line, Technical Expertise, etc. Your body is not raw material for staging the effects of good design.

If any of this is incurred — that you should come to 'stand for' something — it is incidental.

I am not interested the trope of "the nude", which depletes the dimensional human subject into an inert straw man for visual consumption. Its formal values promise [ineffectively and disingenuously] to immunize it against the thorniness of nudity in social reality. It likewise acquits the painter of responsibility for the practice's inherent problems of the gaze, power, intimacy, and the complexity and intensity of being with a naked person in the room. Living naked people are not objects, ideas, or anatomical proofs.
I am interested in a nudity that is deliberate on the part of both the artist and the subject.
I am interested in a person who intends to be [seen] naked, and a painter who intends to be accountable for looking at, engaging with, and fathoming them.

This drawing that I will make addresses our relationship and the event of our meeting, when I took photographs of you. The drawing is my means of testifying to having tried to see you, to meet you in your faraway body, from inside mine.


CONTACT
If we are friends and you are interested in working with me, or have further questions, please send an email to ghi@ghislainefremaux.com. We can then determine if/how we will proceed. Thanks.



w. Lando Valdez @ Studio B. Photo courtesty Jim W. Johnson.