Irène Balia, Camille Soualem, Bérénice Vargas Bravo
Galerie Camille Pouyfaucon, 19 rue Guénégaud, Paris 6
Camille Pouyfaucon Gallery is thrilled to present the exhibition (EM)BODY from November 7 to December 20, 2023.
The group show brings together the work of three young women artists: Camille Soualem, Bérénice Vargas Bravo and Irène Balia, whose artistic practices reflect on the complexity of the human experience. Each of them explores the relationship between body and mind, and the way in which the body reacts and expresses itself in response to different situations.
The exhibition (EM)BODY illustrates how an emotion, a state of mind or an idea comes to life in our bodies, revealing the intimate link between our inner experiences and their physical expression.
Irène Balia is an Italian artist who was born in Sardinia in 1985 and lives and works in Milan. She creates captivating paintings depicting scenes that are both strange and apocalyptic. Her works feature characters evolving within an utopian, suspended environment, where the scenarios presented take us into a supernatural world where logic seems to be absent. The characters stand in the middle of a chaotic scene, in a space-time with no precise limits.
Irène Balia's paintings embody a fascinating analysis of the ambiguity between the unconscious and reality, inviting viewers to explore the mystery and fluidity of reality while searching for answers in the midst of an environment marked by absurdity and irrationality.
Camille Soualem is a French artist born in 1993. She graduated from the Beaux Arts de Paris in 2018. She now lives and works in Paris.
The human figure occupies a central place in her artistic work. Human representations play a predominant role in her work, as she sees the body as a powerful vehicle for reflection, a territory to be explored. She sees the body as a form of resistance, constantly engaged in defence mechanisms against the hazards of everyday life. The figures she depicts are both fragile and powerful, emanating a duality between innocence and gentleness on the one hand, and the brutal force embodied by their imposing nudity on the other. Beyond the physical dimension, artist Camille Soualem is keenly interested in the mind, believing that “bodies think and thoughts themselves are bodies”. So her creations present us with characters deeply absorbed in their introspection, where their thoughts are reflected through their bodies.
Born in Mexico City in 1998, Berenice Vargas Bravo lives and works between Nantes and Chicago. She graduated from the Beaux arts de Nantes in June 2023, and is currently doing her MFA in painting and drawing at The School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.
Bérénice's work is characterised by the dramatisation and staging of her subjects. Before she starts painting, she creates stagings using models who play a role, adding a performative dimension to her creative process. All the elements of a play are present in her paintings: the lighting, the sets and the actors. Bérénice's paintings can be seen as frozen spectacles, suspended in time, where each painting represents an act. She depicts scenes from everyday life, playful moments that span the ages. These situations are familiar to us all, but she adds a touch of absurdity and satire. In this way, she seeks to capture the complexity of human relationships, highlighting the underlying tension present in every interaction.
Each of these artists offers a perspective on the ambiguity of the human condition, whether through the body, the psyche or social relationships, while adding a theatrical or even dreamlike dimension to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.