Opening: 9 February 2017
Underdogs Art Store EVENT
Blending a desire to tell stories with a need to pause and take stock in this digital age of fast-paced change while accomplishing something both pleasurable and tangible, Julien Raffin spends his evenings snipping away at his collection of clippings, painstakingly pairing figures and backgrounds, details and textures, delicately disconnecting and connecting assorted images as he brings to life magical clean-cut compositions based on the often-overlooked technique of collage.
Presented here in public for the first time, this selection of 20 original collage pieces reflect the author's interest in exploring how key personalities and events from a wide range of fields – including music, film, politics, sports, and space exploration, among others – have left a decisive imprint on history, helping to shape both our collective memory and our own perception of reality. Reflecting a wide range of influences – from 1970s psychedelic rock and Black music to Shepard Fairey's retro-contemporary poster designs, from modernist photographic composition by the likes of Moholy-Nagy to the elaborate kaleidoscopic choreographies of Busby Berkeley – Raffin's work is guided by the principles of structure, balance and harmony. Expressing an open, dynamic narrative, each of these pieces also seeks to visually reflect the contrasting dichotomy between what makes us and the way we decide to perceive it, artfully conveyed through the contrasting interplay of light and shade, of black and white and colour.
As the artist himself puts it:
Everyone has his own perception of the world we live in. Things are moving fast and our lives are constantly disrupted by tonnes of messages that are alarming and sometimes pessimistic. We should not forget to add magic to this heritage accumulated over decades, and see the beauty of it. The magic is always around us and we need to dare to dream as a form of resistance and escape.
What is rational can suddenly become irrational.
What has been seen can suddenly become magical.
What belongs to our reality can be enhanced with our imagination.
About the artist:
A native of France, Julien Raffin (1985) has been living and working for the past eight years in Asia. Currently based in Hong Kong working for a multinational corporation, he has been pursuing his passion for art as a form of self-expression on the side, almost secretly, despite having had no training in the field. He began studying photography around ten years ago in a bid to capture his surroundings while living abroad. He later refined his interest for visual creation through the medium of collage. His work with the latter technique has been exploring a deeply-set interest in understanding the iconic status of people and events that have helped shape the current era. Reflecting a diversity of influences in terms of both concept and composition, his collage works offer a poetic array of still, yet dynamic, narrative moments capable of instantly conveying historical context but also emotion and a sense of playful wonderment. “Disconnected” is the first major exhibition featuring his work.
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Four limited-edition screen prints by the artist based on his collage works will be released during the exhibition.
An exhibition of collage works by Julien Raffin
Opening: 9 February 5pm-8pm
Underdogs Art Store
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa,
Armazém A, porta 20
Cais do Sodré, Lisbon • Portugal
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 8pm