Biography

Lea, that’s how he calls his workshop (in French, it stands for Laboratory of Artistic Experiments). Bewildering, this workshop… just like its owner. The atmosphere : in the background, a huge white wall, spotlights on, a photo camera ready to shoot. On the walls, photos of muses mingle with sketches waiting for implementation. Throughout the room, numerous paintings are drying, on a table, used paint cans testify to a recent emulation, materials of all kinds can be seen here and there. On the left, a real human skull, seeming to scrutinize us, makes acquaintance with strange mannequins dressed in candy or soda cans, imperturbable in the face of the whirlwind Patrice Murciano is. Because it is indeed a whirlwind it is all about, a flood even… This jack-of-all is disconcerting : all he touches becomes Art.

Do not reduce him to the role of painter, it would mean you don’t know him : photos, computer graphics, sculpture, cinema, fashion, design are all mediums that allow this “researcher in art” to quench his quest for meaning. In perpetual search for new techniques and styles, he thinks of art in motion…

Deeply turned towards the Other, towards others, he is above all inspired by the emotion of bodies, faces… Seeking to probe the human soul, it is in these looks or in these postures of muses, of famous portraits, that he satisfies his quest. It is this very quest that led him in 2013 to paint Jean Paul Gaultier and to send him a canvas inspired by a photograph by Michel Comte. Fashion’s enfant terrible appreciated it so much that not only did he invite Patrice Murciano to his show on July 3, 2013 in Paris, but he also insisted on this painting to integrate the exhibition “La planète mode de Jean-Paul Gaultier : de la rue aux étoiles” (“The fashion planet of Jean-Paul Gaultier : from the streets to the stars”), tracing the fashion designer’s career. The exhibition will soon be presented in New-York and then in London.

This encounter is a click, the whirlwind Murciano is unleashed, it is time for the artist to pay tribute to those who inspire him : it is then the turn of the singer M, Vanessa Paradis, Sophie Marceau, Lambert Wilson, of José Garcia to have their portraits done, to their great satisfaction. The researcher in Art manages to sublimate the characters, to overcome their image which is often too smooth or caricatural, to make colors explode as much positive energy as he would like to send them. And positive waves, he has tons to share… And if this can’t be enough, Patrice Murciano draws a parallel by going for the world of fashion. Flat surfaces are no longer sufficient for the artist to express himself : he needs 3D, he thinks in terms of volumes, of space, energy must “burst” like a visual big-bang. His “fashion design” creations on showcase mannequins bear witness to this : from the Geisha’s kimono to majestic black widows, without omitting candy women or soda women… A wacky universe, yes ! But a universe that underlines his attachment to all types of women and that testifies to his view upon his contemporaries. And since Patrice Murciano is insatiable, models in flesh and bones will soon wear his works…

The question everyone may legitimately ask is the following : but how did he get there ? And it is not the side of school benches that you need to turn to… Perhaps that’s what gives him this freedom of tone, this ability to kick conventions. Self-taught, he built his personality away from the classical courses of Beaux-Arts, using his mother’s makeup as soon as the age of six to draw portraits. He multiplies the styles and techniques, which are as many exploratory tracks, as many ways to conceive the True, the Beautiful and the Just. From Courbism to Scribbling, from Pop Grunge to New Pop, he delivers his truths with sincerity.

With New Pop, his work is an explosion of “primordial energy” that emanates from the Light (white backgrounds) or from Chaos (black backgrounds), from sagging and colors, enhanced by scribbles (quick gesture as a great signature). Just like the moon brings light into darkness, his universe is a booster of positive energy in a world that is in crisis… This feminine moon counterbalances the vision of a world where rationality and calculation take precedence. To solar intelligibility, Patrice Murciano prefers the sensitive lunar… His sagging is only the reflection of the eternal movement of Life, like the skull which thrones in his workshop : nothing is static, nothing is fixed, nothing is smooth…

New Pop certainly is the style that best fits his complex personality : a shock wave !

Is Patrice Murciano swimming against the tide ? Certainly, but he is taking a lot of people along in his wake…

Patrice Murciano is a “Moon catcher”… Secretly dreaming since his childhood to be an astronaut, he has long nourished the idea of painting on the Moon a work visible from the Earth, a work whose message of love would have been addressed, de facto, to all human beings … He finally said to himself that if he could not go to the Moon, the Moon would go to him, like an arrival point…

Finally, this anecdote tells us nothing more than the questioning of the artist on the immutable laws of our being in the world, his questioning on the place of the human in the Whole. This catcher asks us about what is beyond us, the Moon synthesizing the infinite…

Maybe one day he will catch the Moon, maybe not… but whatever happens, he will always remain with his feet anchored in the earth and his head in the stars…

Christa Dumas