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Jean Michel Poveda and the Memory of Trees.

Looked at from a certain point of view, a tree is a mysterious thing. Its bark furrowed by dry wrinkles, footprints, writings, esoteric messages from nature Where the poet seeks the beacons of his identity, the marks of his destiny… Jean-Michel Poveda finds himself there. His style in painting is in love with it. From the bark, he learns the fingerboard. The sinuous channels through which he generates the figures of his creations, he hollows them out with color. The oil works. After a more conformist approach to painting, Jean Michel Poveda, reflecting on the bark of trees has become another.

On small and medium formats, such as the phasmids of tropical regions, his subjects seem hidden in the paint.
A “flatfish”. Its vertical position and the green color set with dark green enhanced with white gives it relief. Exposed in a decorative way, it recalls a Mediterranean atmosphere. We think of arabesques. Imagination sinks into the dough, searches, travels, associates data. She gets caught up in an absurd but very suggestive game of memory. She remembers the plates of Nabeul, the moucharabiehs…. The whole takes on a picturesque votive look.
Tree bark passed through the sieve of paint… The eye remains suspended between two states of accommodation.

The title of this series is none other than “ The memory of trees. »… As if the variety of forms the world could be read from the skin of a tree.
It is also found in coffee grounds. Leonardo da Vinci saw things in the shapeless stains and the variegated stones of the walls. Landscapes, mountains, trees, battles, figures with lively gestures, strange faces and costumes.

The microcosm of the task, of the fortuitous form is known by the masters of the brush. They find there the spirit of drawing. From the primordial trace on the blank canvas, insane graphics in the image of the world.

In Jean Michel Poveda's canvas entitled “L'œil” the artist uses browns reminiscent of the color of turned earth. Still in this spirit of the bark canvas, the black eyelid to which he adds the iris slightly modifies the natural data. As after a minor surgery, the Cyclopean eye begins to vibrate.
In “Agony”, “Oppression”, “Creature”, the painting appears in the form of encircled interlacings. Dilated, the abstract figures read like stones at the bottom of a river bed. From a formal point of view, these works constitute the beginning of a new series subsumed to the series of the memory of trees. Unlike “Flatfish” and “The Eye”, they explore abstraction for its emotional effectiveness. These are moods.

Other works such as "The sage with the big nose", "The Visitor", "Metamorphosis", are more related. They are more fluid too. We guess their dramaturgy at first glance. In "Awakening of Desire", a spectral female body is born from the mottled color of pink, blue, white and black. In this painting we forget the bark of the tree, the matrix of the series. In “A Family”, it is still different; A three-part shape gathered up on itself like a terracotta figurine on a rough dark green background lets us guess the artist's affinities for sculpture.

In the making, the painting of Jean-Michel Poveda, directly inspired by the bark of trees, addresses different themes, responding to the intimate questions of the artist. His pictorial observations on reality but also the projection of invisible things on the canvas poetize and transform reality. Painting is also that.

Ileana Cornea July 2006

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