Project “Terra Incognita”

“Terra Incognita”

Kingman Blue – Pigments and metallic leaves (gold, silver, copper) on linen stretched canvas – 80x80cm – 2018

Carta Marina
Carta Marina – Pigments and metallic leaves (gold, silver, copper) on linen stretched canvas – 120x190cm – 2018
Nuits de Chine – Pigments and metallic leaves (gold, silver, copper) on linen stretched canvas – 120x190cm – 2018
Atlantica – Pigments and metallic leaves (gold, silver, copper) on canvas – 80x120cm – 2018
Chichiltic – Pigments and metallic (gold/silver/copper) leaves on linen stretched canvas – 100x100cm – 2018
Hic Sunt Leones – Pigments and metallic leaves on linen stretched canvas – 80x120cm – 2018 SOLD

The project “Terra Incognita” (Cartographers in the past, who mapped the new lands were faced with huge areas of terra incognita, Latin for “unknown lands”, and had to somehow fill in the blank spaces) is an ode to the fable lands, the exploration, the desire of discovering new landscapes, the travel and the beauty of foreign lands. I have added gold, silver and copper leaves to the paintings, following the structures, the forms and the color fields made by the pigments. These metallic leaves catch the light and create endless variations of tone and proportion, moods and effects, reflecting the surrounding colors, acting like a mirror or a door to unknown lands and creating a fantastical dreamscape where everyone’s imagination can fly away. I want the paintings to be highly expressive, to glow from within, conveying strong emotional content.

The paintings are called “Atlantica” referring to the legendary lost continent, “Hic Sunt Dracones” and “Hic Sunt Leones” referring to the classical phrase used by ancient Roman and Medieval cartographers when denoting unknown territories on maps and dangerous places, “Terra Australis”, “Terra Laponia”, “Terra Pericolosa”, “Terra Nullius” were names of unknown lands in the past, “Carta Marina” is in reference to Carta marina et descriptio septentrionalium terrarum (Marine map and description of the Northern lands, commonly abbreviated Carta marina) witch is the first map of the Nordic countries to give details and place names, created by Olaus Magnus and initially published in 1539, “Nuits de Chine” after an old song from 1922, the Roaring Twenties, the increased interest in Orientalism: China is compared to a dream where you can forget the past, fall in love again, find happiness and serenity at least for a night.

I love the idea of great adventure and the thirst for discovery and curiosity about the world and the belief in Marco Polo’s 7448 Spice Islands in the Far East. I can imagine the intense excitement and the intellectual ferment created by the knowledge that it was possible to sail ‘around the world’ and not be lost ‘over the edge’. This conquest of the fear of the unknown world, the exploration, the passion, this Age of Discovery in the long period of European renaissance are truly inspirational for me.

With this particular project, I would like to welcome the spectators in my world and see how their eyes light up, surrounded by colorful golden maps with fantasy-landscapes and invite them to travel with me, discover unknown lands and imaginary landscapes, escape from the present, travel in time to the remote past of ancient epoch, let their imagination run free and take over, feel emotions and start dreaming.

« Sur la Rivière entendez-vous ces chants
Doux et charmants ?
Bateaux de fleurs ou les couples en dansant
Font des serments !
Pays de Rêve ou l’Étranger
Cherchant l’oubli de son passé,
Dans un sourire a retrouvé
La joie d’aimer…
Éperdu, le danseur
Croit au songe menteur,
Pour un soir de bonheur »
Serge Gainsbourg