Pierre Galopin

Born in 1984

Lives and works in Muel

Pierre Galopin graduated from the École des beaux-arts de Rennes in 2008, and has remained attached to the techniques he learnt there. Since then, he has viewed his approach as a challenge to take up: how does one keep on painting nowadays?
He has chosen to tackle the issue from a technical angle, and works scrupulously by carrying out various tests and developing a “paint kitchen” to achieve his goal: to fill out a surface whilst producing an aesthetic effect.
Galopin favours standard-size canvases (portrait or landscape) and always paints on the floor according to a self-imposed specific logic. First of all, he coats the canvas with a layer of oil-based varnish; then, making the most of the urgency induced by the combination of substances, he adds a second layer of water-based varnish. The results of this process are random and hard to anticipate. Once the two are mixed together, the painting takes on a life of its own within a few elusive and decisive minutes, leaving no room for error – only accident. The vigour of the application conditions the end result, which varies from one canvas to another. As such, repetition is impossible. The notion of series only comes in later, in light of the entire body of work.
While the combination of varnishes is random and the colours completely anecdotal, the choice of the accessory used to apply these is in fact crucial. The artist uses regular commercial tools (paintbrushes, brushes, sponges) as well as custom-made instruments. He likes to imagine new and increasingly unusual devices (sprayer, compressor…) in his permanent search for pushing the experiment further, testing the limits of his method and breathing life into the painted surface. His studio has truly become a laboratory in which any trial and error is allowed, so as to move freely thanks to a form of mastery of technique rather than result.
Galopin’s works are not verbose. Their titles plainly state their makeup: their dimensions sometimes, the technique or tool used, the chemical effect achieved… What remains elusive and leaves us perplexed is their vibrant and enigmatic surface. The artist always makes sure he stays at a distance by avoiding any gesturality and excluding the potential presence of a form.

The entire canvas resonates with one single voice: the translucent interplay between the layers of varnish, the matt and glossy effects, the all-over variations in micro-reliefs, all of which are generated through a skilful combination of processes. By deliberately cultivating this economy of means, Pierre Galopin achieves essentialness with the bare minimum.

Morgane Estève