Art Alexis Ralaivao zooms in on the human body
Artart

Alexis Ralaivao zooms in on the human body

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Giorgia Massari
Alexis Ralaivao | Collater.al

With a photographic cut and a very close gaze, French painter Alexis Ralaivao (1991) is able to cancel the distances between the subjects of his oil paintings and the viewers. Bodily details become the protagonists of his huge canvases. An ear, a hand holding a fork, a pendant swinging above a cleavage, a naked belly. Ultra-zooming bodies almost seem to come out of the canvas, becoming tangible and real. They can be brushed against, sniffed, sensed. The viewer is involuntarily led to establish an intimate connection with the subject, though not seeing his or her face. Simple, everyday gestures lead the viewer on an empathetic journey, allowing him or her to get closer. And here the Dutch figurative painting from which the artist draws inspiration becomes “accessible.” No longer something to be frightened by, almost overwhelmed by, but a moment to relax, to surrender to delicacy.

Alexis Ralaivao translates the everyday and the simplicity of gestures into eternal moments, suspended in time. Calm and lightness are evoked by pastel hues and delicate shades, enclosing the canvases in a dreamlike dimension. The choice of mixed-ethnicity subjects, being himself part of that community, and the photographic cut borrowed mostly from social media, allow Alexis to take a contemporary look at what is one of the most traditional and ancient techniques, the figurative. The boundaries between the traditional and the contemporary are broken, “In classical portraiture there is a distance between the audience and the person represented. I want to erase this distance,” Ralaivao declares.

Thus ephemeral and simple moments, which in the world of social media would disappear after a few hours, become crystallized forever in a dimension that is not meant to be magical or surreal, but rather tends toward inclusion and the breaking down of boundaries.

Alexis Ralaivao | Collater.al
Alexis Ralaivao | Collater.al
Alexis Ralaivao | Collater.al
Alexis Ralaivao | Collater.al

Courtesy Alexis Ralaivao

Artart
Written by Giorgia Massari
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