Jacques Charlier, the artist who sews paintings

Jacques Charlier, l'artiste qui coud des peintures

For the official opening of the ball of the most variegated plumes selected by The Piece, let's discover the artist Jacques Charlier. Born in Liège in 1939, Belgian, Jacques Charlier is a pioneer of conceptual art. He is a rather complex character belonging to the so-called "avant-garde" current. Also nicknamed "art pirate", he hates art. And above all, the world of art. He denounces capitalism; he criticizes the galleries; American artists, and all those who have entered into a market logic... The Paris Piece does not go as far in its critical approach, but I find that we have a lot in common with pop art.

I discovered Jacques Charlier when I left the workshop, very late, for an appointment with the pediatrician. Fighting with a garbage can left in the middle of the tiny sidewalk that prevented the "Tank" stroller from circulating, I find myself face to face in front of a tutorial "how to repair your canvas yourself"? In a gallery video Lara Vincy a woman is stitching a multi-thousand dollar painting by Louis Fontana with her Singer machine, using zigzag stitches. The pediatrician will wait.

I enter the gallery. And I discover indeed, on one side the paintings of Lucio Fontana and right next to his stitched reproduction. The series is called "repaired paintings". I take out my cell phone, take a picture and go.

Peintures réparées, 2016 - Jacques Charlier

On the way, I call our friend and mentor Nicolas Smirnoff. He explains to me that in the history of contemporary art, Lucio Fontana is THE interplanetary reference for modern art. This guy still painted hundreds of canvases in a single color, he took a cutter and presto, with a sudden blow, in one, right in the middle of the canvas, tore the canvas.

So when Jacques Charlier decided to sew the painting back up, I understood the artist's nerve and his (Belgian) humor. I learn here that Jacques Charlier plays with other popular references from the history of art, and offers an offbeat reading of a major painting in the history of art. His critical and offhand panache still earned him censorship at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

Finally, when we think back to the artist and his link with The Piece, it is perhaps the zigzag stitch to repair a work of art, but it is above all the use of sewing as a means of thinking, of rebel and invent. To sew your own clothes is to stand out from the crowd, to free yourself from the fashion and consumer market, and to wear the result of your work with pride. Don't wait any longer to get started #lapieceparis.