CROIRE/DOUTER takes as a point of departure the duality of the image, and the possibilities of belief and contradiction that lie therein. Employing mechanisms of destabilization, more specifically the coupling of the material with the immaterial, of paint and fiction, Truc-Anh challenges the viewer to identify with the fractured world he presents. Drawing upon a range of references from art history to contemporary culture, the presumed direct relationship between the viewer and the work betrays a tenuous hold.
Perceptual psychology rests on the notion that cognitive sense originates with the viewer’s innate observational assumptions, and it is this basis that serves as a veritable playground for Truc-Anh. In considering this latest body of work, the viewer’s presumptions and biases stand exposed and the stark reality of the instability of existence comes to the fore.
What at first glance appears familiar is shown to be peculiar. In 14 ans, the treatment of the subject shakes the foundation of what constitutes a portrait. Oval planes of color lain across the foreground permit glimpses of the figure behind, yet the figure is made pale and alien, forcing the viewer to identify with a benign unknown. Similarly, in F1.A2.M3.I4.L5.L6.E7, the family portrait becomes a cacophony of competing activities. An unsteady and broken vesica piscis halts the space-time sequence across the picture plane, disrupting the frame-by-frame narrative of this seven-paneled work.
In contrast to the abstracted imagery in the above-mentioned works, L’Adolescent consists of a hyperrealist rendering of a seated figure. Appearing anatomically human, yet not altogether, the grotesque creature portrayed mocks the viewer who seeks pictorial resolution.
Public and historical figures, from Napoleon to Michel Houellebecq, also make appearances in CROIRE/DOUTER. In Pervs, the artist’s minimal palette of predominantly black and white paint is here momentarily set aside for graphite. Depicting a troubled Domique Strauss-Kahn at the height of his scandal, the flurry of grey-scale accusations is registered in the subject’s resigned expression. Here, the tradition of heroicism in portraiture is clearly subverted.