As the year passed the artist lets the title of his solo exhibitions immutable, "until after I'm dead": "You haven't overdone the makeup?" - "No". La Verna keeps on transfering drawings highlighted with makeup and big photographs combining art history and rock music references.
As the years pass Jean-Luc Verna's worship of the iconic Siouxsie Sioux continues undiminished: she changed his life the moment when, as a teenager, he first saw her on TV. Since then "La" Verna – after all, don't we say "La" Callas? – has tirelessly modified, redrawn and embellished his tribute; yet while the tattoos accumulate, the title used for his solo exhibitions remains immutable, "until after I'm dead": "You haven't overdone the makeup?" – "No".
La Verna keeps on serving up "the same old soup": transfer drawings highlighted with makeup and big photographs combining art history and rock music references. Because the oeuvre has always blended Klimt and Velázquez with Siouxsie and Klaus Nomi. The same old soup, Verna says; okay, but the plate it's served in keeps on changing. The drawings get new supports – wood panels – and new attributes: objects, pens, lanterns. And the body immortalised in the photographs openly bears the marks of time. Yet despite imminent debacle and disaster and an endlessly postponed announcement of ultimate apotheosis, Jean-Luc Verna accompanies us – unless it's we, the transfixed viewers, who are accompanying him? – in the preservation of the only thing capable of resisting the ineluctable: the pose.
Jean-Luc Verna recently showed at the Team Gallery in New York and at La Conservera (Salas Veronicas) in Murcia, Spain. He has just had a joint exhibition with Brice Dellsperger at Frac Alsace, in which he plays all the remakes roles of the Body Double series. In addition to contributing to many group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Villa Arson, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MAC/VAL and elsewhere, he dances for choreographer Gisèle Vienne and sings with the band I Apologize.
His work has been acquired by MoMA, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MacVal and numerous Regional Contemporary Art Collections (Fracs) in France.
Opening: Friday 9 September 2011 from 6 to 9 pm
Air de Paris
32, rue Louise Weiss - Paris
Hours: tuesday to saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm