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  • Karl Gustavsen

Karl Gustavsen

  • France
  • Painter

Karl graduated from the Chambre Syndicale School of Fashion in Paris in 1991. He then became a stylist for several major international designers (Angelo Tarlazzi, Karl Lagerfeld, Andres Sarda) and held this job for several years before devoting himself to his artistic activity. His first exhibition was in 1990. In 1992, he participated in a performance show organized by the Paul Ricard Cultural Centre (Paris).
His art is an original blend of various influences, drawing on both the aesthetic of films by Fritz Lang (Metropolis) and Fernand Léger (Le Ballet mécanique), design from the 1920’s and the modernism of Le Corbusier (French architect, twentieth century). With audacity, he evokes the impertinence of the Dada movement.
The artist invests his canvas with large areas of colour by creating a space where perspective is absent. He borrows geometric shapes from the Art Deco style and Japanese graphics. His ""pasted papers"" make him a worthy successor to the cubism of Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris (Spanish painters twentieth centuries) and Georges Braque (French painter twentieth century).
Karl combines elements painted with acrylic to collages of juxtaposed or superposed paper cuts. This technique allows him to work his designs with precision: ""shapes are pure, sometimes on the verge of abstraction. They reinvent themselves, are recomposed in delicate assemblies."" He cuts the paper meticulously, much as a line drawing. His graceful stylized figures are reminiscent of haute couture patterns.
One colour is sometimes enough to bring about a subject. He sculpts the material, playing on the nesting of shapes and combination tones. The artist fixes trivial and ephemeral moments of everyday life on the background: a woman powdering her hair or face, a man with a drink at the bar... His characters pose in front of the intrigued viewer. Broken and fragmented, they propose a poetic alternative to reality.

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