Forget what you have read about them, or what they have been able to say about themselves, and allow their works to tell. What? Everything you have inside and maybe even more. Ella & Pitr’s works do not have a unique meaning but are shaped by each individual who appropriates them. They are generous, like their creators, real chameleons of art who, with great humility and a good dose of irony, do not hesitate to constantly test themselves by experimenting with different materials and techniques, respecting the place of installation. The more a wall, a material or a space is “lived”, the more interesting it is for them to create something on it, to add the trace of their passage. And so, contrary to what many might think, the white and smooth canvas is more frightening to these artists than a disconnected, wrinkled support, which has tiny or gigantic dimensions.
This constant search for renewal in the forms of expression has led to the blossoming of new works currently exhibited at the Le Feuvre & Roze gallery, like many specimens of rare flowers, each with its own characteristics but all belonging to the same species, that of dreamers. From dreamlike paintings on canvas, concrete and wood, to fragments of plates and stones, to the family of anthropomorphic brushes, playfulness is the key word of this exhibition. The title itself is already a clever play on words. The well-known expression “le plan sur la comète” which could translate to “make castles in the air”, here becomes “le plan sur la gommette”, a word which is used to identify the adhesive labels that are given to children to play, but also those that are affixed to an art work when it was sold at auction, and therefore it is no longer available. A golden opportunity to demystify this commercial practice too, playing like children to affix a red sticker under each of the exhibited works so as to make it impossible to identify those already purchased.
If this aspect seems destined to leave amazed especially experienced and professional collectors of the art world, what can not escape anyone, is the intense communicative power of the characters created by Ella & Pitr. Made in comic style, with the precise aim of detaching themselves from the search for realistic perfectionism, their strength remains unmatched as much as it is the sleeping giants who made their fame, as well as the tiny hikers of an immense and vaporous mountain, as in the canvas which bears the same name as the exhibition. Sometimes these characters break the paintings that contain them to get even closer to the viewer, as happens in “Petée de rire” literally “split by so much laughing” or look at us in the eyes with carefree behind their tuft of colored bristles.
But it does not end there, further support is used by the artists for this exhibition, the multimedia one. A video illustrates the moment in which, in a marble quarry, two backhoe loaders, the machines used to perform excavation works, move the numerous colored stones by the artists to create a character with gigantic proportions. The destruction of the work is thus carried out almost gently, compared to the time when Ella & Pitr even detonated a marble quarry. The ephemeral life time of this work recalls that of colored powder mandalas, made with extreme patience and detail by the Tibetan monks who then sweep them away with the aim of remembering that every moment must be enhanced since nothing lasts forever.
At this point there would be a nice transition on love that seems to be eternal between the two artists who met 13 years ago in the most romantic way there is, each creating their own work on the corner of two streets that by crossing them made them cross. But what might seem like a rose-water novel in which love was defined as the engine of creation, is actually much more. It is a meeting between two souls, that of a graffiti creator and a dancer and circus performer who have merged their need to express themselves through art so as to become “a brain and a half”. And so, like two parts of an hourglass, each fills the other and together they fill us with intact glances, with timeless stories and painted fabrics that seem welcoming nests. Rediscover Ella & Pitr once again, you will not regret it.
Ella & Pitr. Le plan sur la gommette
9 June – 4 July 2020
Le Feuvre & Roze
For all the images: ELLA & PITR, Le plan sur la gommette, exhibition view at Le Feuvre & Roze gallery © Le Feuvre & Roze
Paraphrasing Fellini, I will tell you that I am an oyster and my path is a grain of sand that is turning into a pearl. From law degree to art history degree at the Sorbonne in Paris. From the French capital I tell you about art.