"100 years after ..." is French urban artist Christian Guémy's last exhibition. Also known as C215, he revisits twenty portraits of the Swiss painter Eugène Burnand for the benefit of ADO. Looking forward to get involved in the centenary of the First World War, while helping military families, his creations will be sold at the end of June in favor of the Association for the Development of Mutual Aid Works (ADO).
" I wanted to do something about the centenary and I wanted to make a connection with the orphans or the fallen soldiers in Mali. "
An immersion in the past that still resonates today
Between 1917 and 1921, Eugène Burnand drew more than one hundred portraits of men and women, who played a role during the First World War. He met them in Marseille or Montpellier as they came back from the front. Hence, the faces of French infantrymen mingle with those of a Senegalese rifleman, a nurse or an Algerian spahi while the artist is paying tribute to all soldiers, regardless of their origins.
C215 reinterprets - a century later- with a strong involveent these portraits discovered during his meeting with the organizing committee of the WWI centenary. He explains that he immediately fell in love with Burnand's work, and later selected 20 portraits to review.
Unlike Eugène Burnand who worked in pastel, C215 chose, as usual, his spray paint and his stencils. The two complementary visions of the artists thus create a striking parallel between two period, not so different from each other.
" I am a historian by training, I am sensitive to engagement because it participates in the fight against obscurantism and the defense of republican values. "
A gesture of memory and solidarity
The exhibition began on November 6 and continues until January 31, 2019 simultaneously in two important places of the memory of the WWI in Paris. The portraits, in the form of a photograph, are exhibited in the moat of the Hôtel des Invalides, while the original stencils and daily life objects of the “Poilus” (soldiers’ cans and officers’ revolver cases) painted by C215 should be seen at the museum of the Légion d’Honneur with the drawings of Burnand.
The paintings of C215 will be sold next Spring and the proceeds will be donated to the Association for the Development of Mutual Aid Works. The organization financially supports widows and orphans of militaries, and retired or disabled soldiers.
" As an orphan myself, I wanted to contribute to something that I understand. "