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The Augmented Image


Arthur Grosbois’ work immediately strikes and grasps the eye of the beholder. The tight framing and compositions fasten the onlooker in the instantaneous, in a frozen moment. Then, the interpretative machine sets in motion, the onlooker’s mind fumbles and gropes. This painting reminds one of an image already seen; yet another contains the trappings of a classical pictorial motif, but full of anachronic sapidity; or quite simply the trappings of this last intrigue.


The mind browses. It browses its memory, interrogating this accumulation of constantly  weaving details of reality, in search of the strings the painting it contemplates is interlaced with. These fragments, which we wonder why the artist has chosen them, wind up amounting to a sense of meaning in that they question our cognitive machine: why is this bit of anodyne memory, this secondary image—useless perhaps—present in my brain? Why does it resurface in me rather than another? As such, the details chosen by Arthur Grosbois remind us of what Roland Barthes called punctum, this incomplete object that triggers a sense of strangeness and desire beyond what the image allows us to see. In the end, the mind ceases to focus on this fragment of reality around which the painting’s composition is articulated; the realistic element becomes but a shape amongst others within the painting. Greatly reinterpreted and maltreated by the paint itself, the photographic detail that has become a pictorial figure, in turn becomes motif. The photographic instant has been set aside in favor of the superposition of the painting’s moments. These different attempts are amassed on the canvas—as the numerous successive coats bear witness—to create a new image, a new reality as reinterpreted and augmented by the artist.


“My approach consists in identifying pictures in which I feel potential and confronting my imagination’s speculations to the test of sketching, the test of matter, to see a new image appear.”


Arthur Grosbois was born in Paris (1993), and has recently finished his studies at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Introduced to Art’s drawing and painting Masters’ from an early age thanks to an art loving, architect for a Grandfather. Arthur has always been obsessed by re-embodying and capturing the energy and emotions felt from being in front of influential Masterpieces seen during his childhood. Such as, St Georges slaying the Dragon during a visit to Venice when he was 5 years old with eager eyes and a pencil and paper in hand.

The fascination, desire and endless research for more; compels the driving factor to follow the feeling those artworks inspired, within his practice, as much as the representation of the figure is challenging the artist and the viewer’s perception in each painting he creates. His interest and will to innovate within the forms of representation have been developed and theoretically supported when he reached Paris’ fine arts school and attended art history lectures.

Arthur’s images taken and constructed; which begin the composition for his paintings are “bricolé”. Using photos he has selected key details from, the process is led with a hectic and frenetic energy: drawing-scanning-taking pictures-covering and re-covering with paint-scratching-sanding…, until the photos used are “digested”, now belonging to the artist. This fragmentation and cutting; create a new reality, the reality of the painting, are manifestations of the tools which modernity has provided. In the process, screens (Iphone, laptop) and virtual tools like Photoshop are used as much as sketching and collage.

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