Guillaume Bottazzi (born in 1971) occasionally forsakes canvas for a gentler, even a silkier textile, pulled taught and whose red colour serves him as a background.
Like Matisse, he has understood that a fabric’s texture has the ability to radiate and create the impression of infinite space. At this point, he hasn’t yet picked up a brush. This living surface is not a “background”, a wall in relation to which the form will become a relief, a weight. The brushwork will resemble the brush strokes of Japanese calligraphers. Bottazzi will lay down traces of colour, often white, always pale, as though the essential concern is to retain the breath in the gesture. But he is not a calligrapher. His hand is directed more in a caress than a movement. It works slowly, precisely, sometimes using a system of stencils, as do the master-creators of kimonos. Bubbles form, seeds or cells, or yet again comma form and swell from a trembling void, slowly rising to the top of the composition. Sometimes whiteness is achieved with a light drift of plaster. Sometimes a glaze of oil colour is deposited on the surface. Often chromaticism is restricted to the definition of an outline, as Western painters used to do when representing a tear, or a drop of water. These works without titles invite the spectator on a spiritual voyage. Bottazzi has also made a name for himself in the field of wall paintings. He has produced around forty so far, the latest of which is a fresco that is being created right now at Place Jourdan in Etterbeek. We prefer works that are on a human scale, leaving to architecture the right to defend itself using its own language.
Guy Gilsoul, November 2016
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