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I didn't know that Edi Dubien was a star
je-ne-savais-pas-quedi-dubien-etait-une-star - ARTACTIF
March 2024 | Reading time: 19 Min | 0 Comment(s)

How did Edi Dubien’s Instagram account appear to me one day? I wonder... I remember believing then that it was an artist from my Grand Est region, an artist that I would have met during one or other of my journalistic activities … In short, I immediately subscribed to this account as its drawings and watercolors resonated with me. I had the feeling of knowing them. To know him. This fluidity of bodies, this depth of gazes, or this abysmal void, this osmosis between human and animal, the fragility of a titmouse and a shoulder, of a rib cage and a branch of ferns , these overwhelming drips, this form of transparency too... I liked everything in the work of Edi Dubien. I always like everything. Even his name appeals to me. Of course. And all this well before having measured its notoriety.

In April 2023 I was in Paris and I was surprised to see his name in the exhibition program. I still didn't know his story, I still had no idea of his fame, so I was delighted for him, I thought it was great recognition. I had of course planned to go see his works of art for sale at the Alain Gutharc art gallery. I had even carefully noted the address, it was three metro stations from the Gare de l’Est, I was delighted… and then something else happened. So the meeting did not happen. I always kept a little scratch of disappointment in my heart.

What was my amazement to suddenly recognize his works in the distance, on the walls of the exhibition dedicated to Lacan at the Center Pompidou-Metz, which I had the chance to visit before having read too much. “My Edi Dubien is here,” I rejoiced. “He is in this exhibition event which will generate a lot of attention, which will get people talking about his work, it’s incredible, oh how happy I am for him! » I still laugh today at my naivety and my ignorance. “My” dear Edi Dubien has of course been a real star on the contemporary art market for a long time! It even made the front page of Artpress magazine this January. The critic and exhibition curator Damien Sausset devotes a study to him which is published in the prestigious contemporary art magazine. All I have to do now is frame this magazine cover, because I'm not ready to be able to afford an original work of art by Edi Dubien! At least I now have on my fridge a magnet representing a young boy with a ladybug on his heart, a reproduction of a watercolor drawing by Edi Dubien offered at the Pompidou-Metz center boutique... When I think that he even created works of art with a dragonfly, my totem animal! In short… All this to tell you that I warmly recommend that you take an interest in the graphic work of this artist. But not because he was born in 1963 in Issy-les-Moulineaux in the body of a girl, which I only just learned from the Artpress article. Simply because he has a lot to say. And because his drawings and paintings go far beyond words.

Edi Dubien never recognized himself in the character of a slayer of the patriarchal order, a hero of gender issues or a queer and LGBTQIA+ activist that was too quickly assigned to him. Yes, her father inflicted abuse and contempt on her to “correct” this “little girl” who played like a boy. Yes, the Parisian childhood of the man who was then named Dominique was very unhappy. Yes, Edi is a survivor coming out of adolescence. Yes, he was barely 20 years old when he fled his family to take refuge in the world of the night. Yes, he is self-taught. Yes, he did fifteen years of psychoanalysis. Yes, his art is first of all a liberating gesture when he begins to practice it in his professional bargain hunter’s van. But he was reborn in 2015 with the official administrative notification of his new identity: Mr. Edi Dubien. And the death of the hated father which follows almost immediately.

“What he transcribes is always a form of urgency, of channeling energy. But unlike his first years of artistic creation, what he deploys from 2014 seems more peaceful,” writes Damien Sausset in Artpress. “When I think of my recent drawings, I do them with the same conviction as before but they are aimed at many more people,” Edi Dubien confides to him. “Now I can put a name to the pain. My personal world is expressed more. Before, punches dominated. These drawings are a part of myself that I had not had time to present. Today, I exist, whereas before, I was trying to exist. » As Damien Sausset observes, “few are those who really know these creations from a time when, rejected, having no access to art schools, he painted in his truck and imposed wild exhibitions on the boulevards by unpacking his paintings on the sidewalk. » If he knew how much I regret not having met him then... I probably could have bought one or more of his works of art for sale, and given him a helping hand at the same time.

“Without a gallery, despised by the official art world, he nevertheless made a name for himself and gathered around him a few international collectors,” explains the Artpress critic. “He himself admits, his practice was obvious but also a possibility of resistance. Added to this was the necessity: “I also had to live and pay for my analyst sessions!” » »

How could I have missed the imposing exhibition which was dedicated to Edi Dubien at the Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art in 2020, and which allowed the contemporary art world to discover his watercolor drawings, his sculptures and paintings? Of course, I myself was not yet Valibri en Roulotte. But still, I blame myself. “His world features young men with serious faces, animals, toy figures of indeterminate sex. The Collargol bear rubs shoulders with painted rabbit heads, portraits of children with empty eyes, teenagers confronted with tits, squirrels, deer, ferns and other plants,” Damien Sausset tells us. “The line is sharp, the colors oscillate between ochres, reds, sienna enhanced with whites and sometimes blues, all shades coming directly from nature. The technical mastery there is astonishing. » Don’t hesitate, go and see the wall dedicated to him in the exhibition dedicated to Lacan in Metz. Or contact the Alain Gutharc art gallery which represents him in Paris.


Valibri en RoulotteArticle written by Valibri in Roulotte



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