Bertrand Lavier, a French artist born in 1949, is known for questioning the relationship between art and daily life. His body of work is all at once very simple and intricate, making it perfectly coherent through the years. Recently, his work was the object of a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou.
The exhibition Walt Disney Series, which A.R.M. visited at Xavier Hufkens Gallery, in Brussels, is the extension of what the artist calls his chantiers, meaning a series of artworks in constant evolution. This iconic chantier began in 1984, when Lavier found himself fascinated by a Walt Disney comic strip in which Mickey and Minnie visit a modern art gallery and had the idea to reproduce the artworks based on the human scale.
Here he shows many of his interests: popular culture, but also history of art, with the use of the “Van Gogh brush stroke”, a cliché of traditional, well-known painting techniques. The idea of legacy is therefore present: Walt Disney had real artists drawing his cartoons, and Lavier, while reproducing them, carefully respects the printing mistakes of the comic book, while on the other hand the aesthetics clearly refers to Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes.
Walking in the space, which becomes a simulacra of Walt Disney’s made up world, we start wondering: who is Mickey mouse now?
Bertrand Lavier’s Walt Disney Series can be seen at Xavier Hufkens until the 20th of February 2016.