For many years Flipo has been the best known artist in Pezenas, notorious for his attention seeking events and parties featuring transvestites, scantily clad beauties and provocative statements and this year, with the opening of his new ‘Depot Flipo’ he has gone one step further by enlarging his corner of the pretty tourist town of Pezenas.
Actually, in private Flipo is a serious and hard working artist with a grounding in fine art; his etchings, drawings and watercolours made his reputation in the eighties and nineties of the last century in the area and he has a great facility with composition and technique together with a sympathetic understanding of the topography and tradition of the Languedoc.
Born in Agen he studied Beaux Arts at Toulouse and decorative arts at Nice before moving to Pezenas where he and his wife Corrine lived at the Hotel Alphonse, the renaissance maison de maitre which inspired many of his etchings and drawings. It was his numerous visits to New York and the US that caused a change in his art away from the more traditional disciplines and towards a more conceptual presence which included happenings and street theatre.
One such was the colouring of snow on the streets of New York with powder pigments projected from above to fall on the pristine snow. His preoccupation with decay and change in the material world can be seen increasingly in his large collages which are made using old wallpapers, decaying matter and paint and which latterly are increasingly based on pastiches of old master drawings made on a large scale.
He also has a penchant for earth pigments which ties in with his vision of the earth’s crust, used in granulations on watercolour paper and which have been seen in Parisian galleries. Although not as eye-catching as his large works, which of course are intended for public spaces where there is suffi cient wall surface to display them, his portraits and drawings of friends and models which can be seen in his Pezenas studio are sensitive and expressive of a gentler side to his character.
Essentially a traditionalist whose art is rooted in the French art of the 18th century his various different manifestations, as street artist, conceptualist, transvestite nevertheless reveal a restless and questing spirit behind his flamboyant exterior.
5 et 7 rue des orfevres,
Emmanuel is also on Paris :
64bis Rue Gaston Lauriau
06 22 74 20 91
© bbbmidi Septembre 2014