By Gaelle S. Warner
I am an Autodidact. (Editor’s note: An Autodidact is a person who learns about a subject with little or no formal education. Gaelle Werner is a self-taught artist). I have been painting and taking photos for more than 20 years now.
Three cities have shaped my artistic influences – New York, Los Angeles and Paris.
I lived for two years in New York. There, I discovered an incredible creative permissiveness, a structured chaos and a history that was in perpetual reinvention.
A couple years later, I moved to Los Angeles. I found light and a scripted version of reality. I stayed 8 years. I painted characters draped in bright colors that recalled “naïve” painters.
I had my first exhibition in Los Angeles before going back to France.
In 2002 I moved to Paris. The grey buildings and somber tones made me give up painting for a while to take up photography. I walked up and down the streets looking for clues, collecting details in order to reclaim these territories as mine.
For the past three years, I have worked on a series of paintings entitled “Découpages Urbains”. It is a break in my style. I wanted to create an esthetic that would allow me to explore visually my reflection on our environment. As I found out that from one city to another, from one architecture to the other, the traces of the urban landscapes surround, label and smother us. On my trips, I have tried to capture the details in each city (Berlin, Seville, Rome, Tozeur, Rio…) that are, for me, defining: walls with peeling paint, geometric lines shooting through the sky, the multi ethnic heritages and the life I imagine behind those closed blinds.
In these paintings, the repeating of the same sized shapes of the image offers a distorting mirror of our urban accumulation. The pulverization of the photos imposes a fragmented rhythm, sometime binary. It creates a puzzle in which the hyper city crumbles, multiplies and finally comes together.
To see more of Gaelle’s Urban Photography visit Gaelle S. Warner.