After dark and torturous seascapes, where foaming waves dominated, Philippe Roussel approaches more secret shores with still life seascapes. Here the water rests still, it has receded purely and simply, covered in sand with strewn outlines, these blue, yellow, green and beige sandy beaches. It is a new geography, a new atmosphere and so, a new technique.
Nothing is purely geometric in the composition. On the contrary, it is the fluidity that reigns: the demarcation between two colors is rarely drawn and is often not clear, sometimes a walnut stain erases it more than emphasizes it and beaches of colors are themselves made of infinite shades, multiplied by subtle contrasts of light.
Born in Nîmes in the South of France in 1963, French artist and painter Philippe Roussel began painting at the age of 10. After the university he took private lessons in art history and found a passion for archaeology and ancient Mediterranean civilizations. A young artist, he followed the excavations in the region, sketching on paper the details of discovered mosaics and reliefs. By the age of 20, his style, which had been closer to the figurative, began to move toward a much more personal semi-abstraction. Today, Philippe’s paintings tell the story of his life as he paints his surrounding landscape, including the Mediterranean sea—so bright, so quiet, and so blue.
As much as he is rooted in the Provencal landscapes and Mediterranean seascapes,Philippe’s work is also imprinted with the memory of his mother, a central figure in his life, an attentive teacher, who gave him his taste for drawing and the value of roots. Throughout his life, his paintings demonstrate that Philippe remains attached to the traces that do not fade.
Traces of life.
Philippe Roussel’s paintings speaks of his own history, his memory, his emotional sense of archaeology, and tell the story of the man who discovered as soon as he could open his eyes that memories overlap, emotions contradict events, and landscapes intertwine.