The French painter Alexandre Wirth invites sighted people to open their eyes through his paintings using braille. I discovered his work on Instagram and was seduced by the poetry of his universe and his refined aesthetic. His black canvases play on reflections and invite us to look beyond the object.
He describes himself as self-taught and came to painting as a second career twenty years ago. His work matured into his series Open Your Eyes, which allowed him to break through.
He is represented by the Acid gallery based in Lille, France and has many projects to come. Thank you Alexander for sharing with me your universe!
What was your artistic path?
It started at birth I would say! My father organized contemporary art festivals with recognized artists and at home everything revolved around and for art … More seriously, the fact of evolving in such a context favors reflection. For some unexplained reason, I did not want to study art; according to my opinion it is necessary to bring a new concept, a unique and clean identity. Of course it is also the result of our influences, observations and current cultures inevitably. So I decided about thirty years to paint and expose myself to judgments. The next step is a long process where ideas are put in place.
How did you get the idea for your Open Your Eyes series?
I started working on topics incorporating faces and flowers but wanted to look for a theme more meaningful to me.
I had a flash or I saw the rounds and their message … I adapted braille. Initially I used colors. Then I kept on exchanging with others and working, the black color imposed itself, the black has even become the catalyst!
What is your goal with this series?
My paintings are questions. I like the idea that everyone can bring their response, their emotion and connect to their personal story. The goal is not only aesthetic but also to create an exchange. Is not art made for society to communicate and evolve?
Your canvases being black, how do you face the challenge of sharing your work?
It is the most complicated indeed. But it’s also a filter! I invite the curious to go beyond the black and the graphic to arrive at: “why? So I have no quick answer except to be available and engage with all those who want it.
Have you shared your work with visually impaired persons? Is it possible for them to read your paintings?
My work is for the sighted people. I even denounce the fact that society advances blindly without worrying about the future that seems complicated … I use the Braille graphics by provocation, doubled with black, to challenge, provoke, beg … so to answer, we can read only with the eyes and the only sharing is exchange and availability.
What are your projects ?
I have a lot ! I would like to work on sculptures to translate my work in 3D and to travel with my work … and what is positive today is that one can “travel virtually” and meet new people and their universe through networks , although of course this does not replace the experience in person. More than projects, they are ambitions, those of meeting, provoking and changing on my level certain mentalities that are too individualistic. To begin with myself …
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Link to Laurence’s original article here.