Clément Davout: Dans Une Nouvelle Embrasure

Clément Davout

Artwork’s Title: Dans une nouvelle embrasure, 2019

Materials Used: Oil on canvas

Studio Based: Brussels

Dans une nouvelle embrasure, 2018, huile sur toile, 90 x 70 cm
Clément Davout, Dans une nouvelle embrasure, 2019, oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm

Art Verge

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Clément Davout

To create a painting, I perform a series of steps, thanks to the palette of tools I have developed over time. Sometimes all the steps follow one another, sometimes not, but there is one constant, that of starting with a photograph that I have taken.. I need to create an intimate connection with the image I will paint, so I can fully appropriate it. Don’t get tired of it. This image serves as a base, a framework, on previously coloured canvases, comes the drawing, then freely comes the layers of paint. I then detach myself more and more from the image to concentrate on the painting. I come back, sometimes to the photography to put some final touches on the painting but more and more I give way to the feeling. To the colourful atmosphere set up as the layers are applied.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Sensitive, colourful and melancholic.

Would you use another three different words to describe the «Dans une nouvelle embrasure» painting?

No, I don’t think so, the three previous ones work very well with this one.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

Recently, something happened to me in my personal life that deeply affected me. An event that changed my perception, the relationship to my feelings, things I look at, and necessarily that I take a picture and then paint. I started to develop an attraction for the shadows, the shadows of the plants in my studio, but also the one I saw in the street, through the windows, in the apartments. I found it so light,  sensible, creating beautiful atmospheres. An analogy was made between my situation and the new objects I was painting, impalpable, ephemeral. My subjects always came from falsely natural elements, having grown up in the landscape, arriving in the city was for me something special, where the traces of nature are so many strange encounters, which I’m now trying to make more sensitive. This is exactly the case for this painting, which is the fusion of one of my home plants with my curtain. I can thus work with the subject of the potted plant that I try to do behind the sheers, offering a light and melancholic painting, which resembles me.\

What colour is used the most in this painting?

Payne’s Grey, I love this color!

When I did the paintings of my solo show, which will be on until the 27th April at Laure Roynette Gallery in Paris, I put this bluish grey everywhere! Hahaha!

It allows such a wide range of nuances, while remaining in a form of lightness, it is perfect. It allows such a wide range of nuances, while remaining in a form of lightness, it is perfect.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

I don’t really have the best way, and I prefer to think of it this way. I have shown paintings in white cube, abandoned houses, corridors… In fact, I always like to ask myself the question of the relationship to space. My paintings are often done upstream without having the exhibition space in mind, and these are often done when I arrive on the spot with the canvases that everything decides. I like freedom in order to create shapes, structures, when hanging, it’s almost sculptural. It is a way of re-appropriating the space and placing the paintings in a context.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Oh! It’s never an easy question. I’m very curious, I like to go and see a lot of exhibitions so I could make a list for hours. I’m going to make a top 3 in order to answer this question, I often play this game! Hahaha !

So I would say in 3: Wilhelm Sasnal, in 2, Gilles Aillaud, and in 1, Pieter Vermeersch.

But in two weeks’ time it will probably have changed, I look at things a little bit in a cyclical way, forget about them and then come back to them.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

Often, I stop painting at the point of tension between the image that served as a basis for my work and the projection I make of the final painting. This means that when I think that the idea, the subject of the painting is sufficiently comprehensible while not revealing everything with the painting, I stop. It is also often at this moment that the image emerges, becomes quite intriguing, that it escapes me and becomes a painting.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

It is a single, not very large room, with plants, books and paintings in progress everywhere. It is also where I live, I can to my great delight paint every day. It is essential to feel comfortable in the workshop space.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

Not really, it’s the game with creation; the viewers do what they want, depending on who they are and the conditions in which they see the work. And it’s an idea that I like enough, I have to say, to see people’s perceptions, and being able to discuss with them is always pleasant. Often they reveal to me, after seeing my work, that they are paying new attention to the forms of nature they encounter daily and to which they were no longer paying attention.

What does your mum think about your art?

She has always been very supportive and very, very proud. Like my father, it is an opportunity, and it allows us to create serenely.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Pieter Vermeersch at the M-Museum in Leuven, Belgium. I must admit that it was the exhibition that touched me the most so far. I had tears in my eyes ! There was everything I like to see in an exhibition, it was incredible, so well thought out, the paintings were of an incredible beauty sublimated by the staging.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Keep painting, I have a few exhibitions to come, then publishing projects on the side. I also make music which occupies a good part of my time lately, I have many musical projects on the way.

Additional Paintings

Plante verte d'appartement, 2019, huile sur toile, 60 x 50 cm
Clément Davout, Plante verte d’appartement, 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm
Celui qui rentra le dernier, 2019, huile sur toile, 100 x 90 cm
Clément Davout, Celui qui rentra le dernier, 2019, oil on canvas, 100 x 90 cm
Samedi soir, 2019, huile sur toile, 46 x 38 cm
Clément Davout, Samedi soir, 2019, oil on canvas, 46 x 38 cm

© All images are courtesy of the artist

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.