Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, Dominic Papillon’s work explores the narrative potential of sculpture through the use of materials, textures, and ambivalent shapes. By mingling human, animal, and floral forms, the artist wishes to create imagery with ambiguous semiotic contours that are both seductive and unsettling. His interest in anthropomorphic representations could be best described as aberrant or bizarre, often imbued with a subtle eroticism, commonly illustrating fragmented and distorted hybrid bodies.
Anxiety, aversion, perversity, but also ridicule, whimsy and candor are some of the impressions which emerge simultaneously from the art of Papillon. This constant attempt to establish a tension between feelings of a contradictory and disparate nature is the underpinning of his research.
The exhibition Fauna brings together a group of sculptures created over the past five years. Many of the works were created as part of an exhibition project in two parts curated by Ariane DeBlois: La chambre périscopique et L’ombre du corps. These exhibitions had as vanishing point the fantastic world of Flemish painter Hironymous Bosch, particularly The Garden of Delights.
Fauna, a word which aptly describes this blend of sculptures as so many singular beings, as fantastic creatures all grouped in the same small space. Like a red line, a certain attitude toward the act of taking-in-hand encompasses the entire exhibition. As synthesis of work which is rough and as well as refined, a family resemblance marks each sculpture:
« The work of Dominic Papillon reveals the pleasure of making things. Midstream between tradition and innovation, mixing high and low culture, his sculptural vocabulary is saturated by contradictions and his style intentionally uses error/defect as basic element. The diversity of techniques […] with the combination of materials […] create astonishing relations which together articulate his visual world. »