‘Ghost’ is an ongoing experiment that reappears periodically in various collaborations and identities translated, according to the purpose, in collage and painting. In 2012 the artist spent about a year in South-East Asia and it is in this unfamiliar context, away from his intimate surroundings, where he started producing small cut-outs by removing the presence of furnishing items from the photographs found in auction catalogues like Sotheby’s.
Formally the works evolve from the dichotomy of two opposing images: the one evoking a three-dimensional object sitting within a space, with its depth and shadows, and the one of a super flat surface, either a fragment of a textile or a found design pattern. The battle of the two different realities, foreground and background, perspective and flat dimension, creates a sense of unease reminiscent of early Renaissance paintings.
‘As our attentiveness furnishes a room, so habit unfurnishes it, making space in it for us. In that room of mine at Balbec, “mine” in name only, there was no space for me: it was crammed with things which did not know me, which glared my distrust of them back at me, noting my existence only to the extent of letting me know they resented me for disturbing theirs. Without letup, in some unfamiliar tongue, the clock, which at home I would never have heard for more than a few seconds a week, on surfacing from a long reverie, went on making comments about me, which must have sounded offensive to the tall violet curtain, for they stood there without a word in a listening posture, looking like the sort of people who will shrug their shoulders to show they are irked by the mere sight of someone.’
Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, In Search of Lost Time – James Grieve translation