Originally from the theatre world, today she works on mask and portrait themes to "unmask" her emotions in ambush, and to unveil the screen. Whether the artist’s work is with charcoal, pastels or paint, it has been on the same track for several years. She focuses on corporal and facial scenography. And throughout her primarily colourful and luminous (pastel) pieces, she tends toward expressionism without concessions, becoming the unique character on the stage with portraits which are, as such, self-portraits.
Sylvie Poinsot belongs to a family of artists who develop a piece with one sole theme, which she develops without ever repeating or copying herself. She feels her way forward. "I’m slow, I have to experiment,” she says. This means using dry pastels “on the defensive body” of this sensual, suave material. She violently glorifies the softness of colour with her strokes, and diverges toward the dislocation of bodies and heads, joyously subject to “the question” of space. As if to torture even more what must come from her own story... Behind the mask… Always and forever… First with her stamped, almost sketched, heads that glide over the paper. Then deadly faces and bodies, pouring out in stratum, colours and splashes, all unwinding a heavy, secret story that has, however, left the space of non-expression. “I don’t always go in through the same door. I paint with jubilation even if suffering is what comes out. I allow what must come to come by condensing everything in the gaze,” she explains.
In order to better reach the depths of this unknown hidden within her, she has kept on with her drawing teacher’s technique, allowing the right and left brain to communicate without annihilating the possibilities of one or the other. To do so, she starts up her portraits with her eyes closed, with her left hand and with charcoal, to make the brute shape gush up, and thereby with this first impetus, “remove her fears”. She throws herself at the canvas like a dancer on the stage.
She then opens her eyes, and still with her clumsy left hand, continues to construct her composition based on what has sprung up; her right hand, the intellectual one, then takes the reins to make the colours shoot out.
“Be wise, oh my pain," Baudelaire perhaps murmurs to her, all while Kandinsky, Emile Nolde, Munch and Kirchner rise up from her personnel Pantheon.
Brigitte Camus-February 2012
Translated by: Samuel Kastin-Mattern