Opening reception: Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 3-5 p.m.
Hédy Gobaa: Olympia
Art Mûr Montreal
Text by Noémie Chevalier
Hédy Gobaa combines photography and painting in his production. In 2018, he defended a doctoral thesis at UQAM where he questioned the role of digital devices in the artistical creative process in painting. The artist modifies his photographs by computer. In this way, it allows him to transform the image into a pattern. In other words, he extracts the shapes and colors of the image to create a unique visual artwork.
The exhibition presents mainly paintings. The oils on canvas expresses the artist’s research on the limits between the real and the virtual. In his serie Venus & Venus, Hédy Gobaa addresses the issues of femininity and the body. He explores its relationship to the immensity of cosmogony. It also links it to childhood and sexuality. In Solaris, the painting of an elongated woman’s body appears in the night or in a dark void placed under a starry sky. It also looks to be overhung by planets. Hence, the artist considers dream and fantasy in relation to life and death or taken in the cycle from birth to death.
Even the exhibition’s title Olympia echoes the Greco-Roman mythology of which the artist has been profoundly marked since a young age. He traveled the trails of the archaeological site of Carthage, Tunisia. He was confronted with many antique statues, illustrating deities, altered over time. Gobaa then creates an interesting break with the figures, by geometrically detaching them or by breaking the curves with lines to integrate a volume on the painted surface.
The subjects remain very often in action. In Double under the bright sun, he represents a man in motion, similar to an athlete ready to set off on a racetrack. This reference to the sporting effort is not unlike the Olympic dream that Hedy Gobaa considers as the place of ” intimate struggles against oneself”. That is why this force of contradiction is established in the appearance of vegetable motifs where it forms a singular depth until prolonging or dividing the body.
In his paintings with plant motifs, he starts from their natural and biological appearance, as it is represented on the photograph. He then introduces a series of cuts, deformations and supernatural coloring and stretching. Hédy Gobaa seeks to visualize this form of contradiction in order to reclaim an impalpable world, let alone give way to reflection and make sure to let any sensation arise.