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Seen: A Solo Exhibition by Marguerite Wibaux at The Locker Room in New York

French artist Marguerite Wibaux takes center stage as The Locker Room in New York, presents "Seen," an exhibition showcasing her works from April 4th to May 12th 2024. This marks Wibaux's third collaboration with The Locker Room gallery and serves as a farewell before her return to France this summer. Offering a panoramic glimpse into her artistic journey in New York, the exhibition traverses Wibaux's diverse portfolio, ranging from expansive paintings to sculptures and erotic sketches. A standout feature of the show is an exclusive collection of pastel portraits, capturing the faces and personalities of the New York art scene, never before unveiled.

FQM: Marguerite, your exhibition "Seen" offers a captivating exploration of your time in New York through various mediums such as portraiture, sketches, sculptures, and oil paintings. Could you tell us more about your inspiration behind this farewell show?

Marguerite Wibaux: Absolutely. "Seen" is essentially a documentation of my experiences in New York City. I've aimed to capture the essence of the zeitgeist, the joys, and struggles of our times through my artwork. One of the highlights of the show is a collection of pastel portraits, drawn from life, inspired by the works of David Hockney. What sets my approach apart is that I use portraiture as a means to connect with people I encounter spontaneously. The drawing process unfolds simultaneously with the encounter itself, allowing for a unique connection with each subject.

FQM: That sounds incredibly personal and engaging. Can you elaborate on some specific pieces in the exhibition that embody this theme of being seen?

MW: Certainly. One piece that exemplifies this theme is "Dinomite Twins" from my series "Horror Vacui." In this painting, I explore the conflict between identity and the desire to be seen. The models are surrounded by miniature paintings sourced from their social media, symbolizing the overwhelming nature of our digital identities versus our authentic selves.

Another example is the pool arty painting titled "Seen", (play with words as scene / seen and sin) which delves into the concept of superficial interactions in a digital age. Despite the vibrant appearance, the characters depicted seem disconnected from each other, with their phones constantly intruding into the scene.

FQM: Your work seems to draw from a variety of influences, including your childhood experiences in Rome. How does this background inform your artistic expression?

MW: Growing up in Rome exposed me to the rich aesthetics of baroque art, which has deeply influenced my style. I'm drawn to dramatic contrasts, intense emotions, and sensual movements, which I aim to convey in my work. For instance, the "Psychos » sculpture, in which a man is caught in a sort of ecstasy, while his nostrils have locks in them. The key sits right next to it, and get the viewer to wonder. 

People sometimes use keys to consume drugs, as a way to unlock their mind, or is it the opposite ? 

FQM: Your exhibition offers a multifaceted view into your artistic universe. Can you share your thoughts on the diversity of mediums and themes present in "Seen"?

MW: "Seen" is not intended as a retrospective but rather an invitation for the audience to immerse themselves in my creative journey. From gestural ink drawings to intimate photographs and thought-provoking sculptures, each piece contributes to a larger narrative exploring innocence, intimacy, and the human condition. The inclusion of erotic works alongside childhood-inspired imagery aims to challenge societal norms and perceptions.

My time in China exposed me to traditional Chinese ink painting techniques, which I've incorporated into my approach to depicting western figures of nudes and eroticism. This fusion of Eastern and Western artistic influences adds a unique dimension to my work, allowing for a fresh interpretation of erotic themes.

FQM: It's fascinating to hear about the depth and complexity of your artistic vision. Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Marguerite.

MW: Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure discussing my work with you.

The Locker Room Gallery, located at 373 South 1st St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, until May 12th.

Open Sat and Sun 12 pm to 6 pm

Photos: Courtesy of the artist


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