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José Manuel Egea, born in 1988 in Madrid, has been fascinated with the figure of the lycanthrope, or the werewolf, since his childhood. Not only is he convinced of being one himself, but he seems to want to reveal to us, through his works, that the double monstrosity lies beneath the surface for many of us, if not all of us.
In order to do this, he has developed a rich palette of representations of this “Other” that everyone harbors: from sketches to drawings on photographic portraits taken from magazines or art books, including sculpture and performances during which he “plays out” his transformation. This mythological creature is obviously the symbol of a blurry duality, but it embodies a great power at the same time, mysterious, and capable of exerting an influence on mankind, of inspiring fear in him. So what would be better, to exorcize it, than to play with this fear, to seek to become the fear itself, and to feel invested with its force?
It isn’t insignificant that Egea makes this dark side appear, especially using images printed on glossy paper whose only purpose was to seduce us. He conjures our bestiality there, made of shadowy and menacing silhouettes, enucleated eyes, triumphant hairiness and lupine attributes. And this is the reversal in the other side of the mirror. This iconoclasm can reach the gutter of the page, clear-cut, as if to accentuate the fracture between two worlds; sometimes even, it is the complete covering of the page, through which we can barely see, vanquished in the darkness, the fictitious beauty that these images impose on us.
José Manuel Egea gives himself over to liberating play since, even though he mangles our humanity, by freeing himself from the norm, he reveals the grandeurs of alterity to us in a pure and unrestrained artistic gesture.
The christian berst gallery is specialized in art brut. By presenting the contemporary aspect of art brut, the gallery implies that it cannot be confined neither in a period of time nor in a geographical perimeter not even in a formal spectrum. What is at stake here is rather the notion of individual mythology, dear to Harald Szeemann. The gallery - situated in the Marais area in a space of 200m², distinguishes itself by its exhibitions (seven a year) entrusted to well-known curators, by its participations in international fairs , its numerous publications always aiming to invite a large public into the mysterious realms of art brut.
Didier Amblard / Jacqueline B / Beverly Baker / Franco Bellucci / Eric Benetto / Therese Bonnelalbay / Giovanni Bosco / Kostia Botkine / Anibal Brizuela / Raimundo Camilo / Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso / John Ricardo Cunningham / John Devlin / Fernand Desmoulin / Janko Domsic / Jose Manuel Egea / Guo Fengyi / Johann Fischer / Pepe Gaitan Jill Gallieni / Anton Hirschfeld / Josef Hofer / John Urho Kemp / Johann Korec / Zdenek Kosek / Joseph Lambert / Alexandre Lobanov / Kunizo Matsumoto / Dan Miller /Albert Moser / Michel Nedjar / Marilena Pelosi / Jean Perdrizet / Heinrich Reisenbauer / Royal Robertson Yuichi Saito / Mary T. Smith / Harald Stoffers / Leopold Strobl / Pascal Tassini / Dominique Theate / Miroslav Tichy / Oswald Tschirtner / August Walla / Melvin Way / Adolf Wolfli / Anna Zemankova / Henriette Zephir / Carlo Zinelli