HERVÉ CONSTANT - A COLLECTOR'S VIEW

May 2, 2014

The darker side of the human psyche has a power of fascination in the unexpected way in which it can surface: in a look, a gesture, a particular line or shadow on a canvas or even an omission, which surprises because it is a glimpse of a sub-text, and is sometimes at odds with the general narrative.

 

BRETAGNE The darker side of the human psyche has a power of fascination in the unexpected way in which it can surface: in a look, a gesture, a particular line or shadow on a canvas or even an omission, which surprises because it is a glimpse of a sub-text, and is sometimes at odds with the general narrative.

 

This power is present in most of Hervé's work, which I have collected over the past 15 years, and which as a body of work over time, charts a dramatic, continuous evolution - and revolution - in style, mood and subject.

 

The first work I acquired was based on the theme of the creation: two hands, forefingers outstretched, reaching out to meet across the abyss of chaos to create the universe. An already dramatically charged image, it is all the more powerful because the original pencil sketch of the hands, emphasisied and re-emphasised, are left in the completed work: the hand of the creator visible in his own creation. This canvas remains for me one of Hervé's most powerful images.

 

Another, and much more recent work, uses the universal and deceptively simple symbol of the heart, drawn huge, irregular and red on a blue background. On the surface, an almost childlike depiction of a universal symbol; on reflection, a pulsating, organic, darkly and dangerously alluring image - passion in all it guises, but cut off from its life-blood as it is surrounded by a sea of blue (therefore non-sustaining) "blood".

 

 

Living with art requires a certain relationship or rapport between the work and the collector - where there has to be an understanding and "tolerence" of the quirks and characteristics of the work, otherwise - like a flatmate with irritating habits - the work becomes difficult to live with. From this perspective, choosing art to live with is different from appreciating art on neutral territory.

 

In Hervé's work, the subject matter is often uncomfortable at the very least, and in some cases, violent or desperate. But the undercurrent that I perceive in this work relates closely to the fundamental fears and pains, often inexpressible, which bind all our experiences together as human beings and provides that connection which, though sometimes painful, is ultimately our salvation, since without it we would be utterly alone. 

 

Sylvie Gormezano 

 

 

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