Imagines - is a new body of work by Mireille Spademan, made at her studios in Paris, Grignon and London during 2016 and the early part of this year. It is a mature and reflective body of work which shows this masterly painter still taking no prisoners, and painting in her vibrant, almost ruthless, reactionary style.
ABOUT THE ARTIST MIREILLE SPADEMAN
I left Paris for personal and political reasons. Of course France was not Chile, but the political atmosphere after '68 was distasteful to me. Although I have always painted, I thought for a while of going to the States to study film making. London was really exciting in the seventies in contrast to the mediocrity of the French art scene (literature, cinema, painting). In London I exhibited some abstract 3D work before deciding to go to an art school and chose St Martin's for its good reputation and the huge advantage of being on the Piccadilly line. I went on doing abstract constructions until I got really interested in the human figure, especially the male figure which offered more tension than the female one. At that time I often used the mirror in my work as a metaphor for painting and for the space it creates. It is a metaphor I still use. I switched to figurative painting through the influence of Max Beckman. I have always been inspired by cinema but I don't think that it shows in my work.
I need to empty my mind in order to paint and I work mainly at night. At times I start working with an idea but it evolves as I paint. I also use photos which interest me visually. When I have no inspiration whatsoever I make some marks on the canvas and then try to decipher it. Standing back and looking at the work is very important for me.
I can spend several days doing this until I know more or less what to do. I started working with objects because I found them more playful and less tragic than people. I also wanted to show the beauty of ordinary objects and their humour.
I remembered a fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen in which he describes how objects start to live their own lives when their owners had left home. I never think of the viewers when I paint. I know that generally people like colourful paintings but that seems to me like mere decoration.
I also know that many viewers want to see a meaning in the work and often project their own obsessions on it. It tells me a lot about their psychology but it is not of my concern.
I am now working on abstraction juxtaposing it sometimes with reality on the same canvas.
On one hand I would like my work to be timeless, at the same time I feel involved in the world we are living in. For instance war is a subject that I depict as painting is the only contribution I can use for expressing my emotions and my indignation when it comes to Bush, Blair and fundamentalism. That's part of the artist's role in society showing every aspect of it and hoping to change a little bit the way people look at the world.