I am Yannick Fournié and I am a french figurative painter.
Would you say your series is based on people’s instinct to wear “masks” to protect their true selves?
Creating works around Mexican wrestling masks arose from an unexpected encounter in a local Mexican supermarket. I found myself face to face with a popular wrestler, « a luchador ». This meeting seemed surreal to me because this individual, who was dressed in normal clothes similar to mine, still wore his wrestling mask. He was shopping, like me.
I loved the contrast between the ordinary individual and the extraordinary and popular symbol. What captured my admiration for the luchador most is the concept of being someone else: a unique character behind a graphic mask, which symbolizes a culture, a show, a combat and most of all strength.
In my paintings I use the masks as a to represent individuals in everyday life. I wanted my paintings to get the view wonder- what mask do we put on to exist or to be recognized in our society? Does it allow us to hide what we really are or to bring us to light a little more?
If you had to choose three colors to paint your mask, what would they be?
The Mexican wrestlers are recognizable thanks to colors and motives of their masks, which carries through their whole life. As everybody, I suppose that I often wear a mask, but yet again I am constantly evolving.
If I had to choose, my mask would be made by the same texture as the skin of a chameleon. Like a chameleon who changes color according to its environment, I feel the same for myself.
What feature of a subject’s face or body do you emphasize most to capture the intended mood?
Eyes, hands and skin are, for me, elements the most interesting to paint:
Eyes are the mirror of the soul.
The skin is what protects us and what evolves in time.
Hands are our tools.
They are reflections of what we are.
I like creating contrasts to describe the mood of my characters: hot and cold, clear and dark, vibrating or insipid and simple or complex.
What is your favorite country?
USA fascinate me: it is the most contrasted country which has everything, the worst as the best. It can give everything as it can take everything. On fact, I love the American mentality: Its fanatical optimism and the capacity of adaptation. These aspects are of value to me, which I find less and less in France.
In an immensely connected world what do you think people miscommunicate about most?
"To be connected" should mean "being better informed", and to have a clearer objective and a more tolerant vision of the world.
In your book, “Incognito”, you mention a common act of social conduct. Is there a moment you can remember that you connected with someone over a fantasized identity?
I was in the military and I was in search of identity and in search of recognition. This uniform, for some frightening reason, allowed me to hide behind decisions which were not mine- behind acts for which I did not want to be responsible for. I felt less alone, recognized by mine, been afraid by the others. That lasted only one time, because I finally recognized myself in my difference, in my marginality.
Is there something that you are nostalgic for?
I am nostalgic for the moment when I discover that I fall in love. This spark, this feeling which rarely arrives, this moment which looks like no other one.
Sophistication is "Mask under a mask "
Instragram : @yannick_fornie
Website : www.yannickfournie.com