French artist Alison Bignon’s abstract portraits are a delicate blend of embossed lines and patterns, mixed with watercolour, pencil, and pen and ink. The end result—what you’ll see here today—are finely-crafted 2-dimensional paintings that could grace any fine art gallery.
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If i may cease to be, shown above, is a wonderful example of her skill.
I absolutely love the freedom of those fine, webbed lines of gray, mixed with the precision of those tiny dots of color—all of which seem to drift within the white space of the paper, pulling larger swatches of color behind them with effortless grace.
Of course, what you won’t see here are the performance pieces that Alison creates as companion works of art, to help finish her portrayals of her subjects. You can, however watch those on her website.
Alison, who is also a classically trained actress, often pairs her portraits with a poem or a video recording of herself performing a monologue based on the emotional impact of that person’s story. (Imagine her performing that emotional “punch” seen in Hope is a four letter word, below.)
Her goal is to offer a more personal and empathetic approach to art-making. . . one that allows the stories of her subjects, and their emotional nuances, to be expressed as thoroughly as possible.
It’s a praiseworthy goal. And what’s especially interesting to me is that because of the in-depth nature of this process, the person who really absorbs the work, who really takes on the full emotional content of these stories, is Alison herself.
We get pieces, of course—the fully-formed artwork—and we can watch her performances and read her poems. But these creations are only what Alison shapes, distills, refines, from the raw, human experience she absorbs from her subjects.
In the end, Alison herself is the canvas, the paper, the embossed surface for the memories she is sharing.
And that’s truly a fascinating way to create art.
To see more of Alison Bignon’s mixed-media paintings, as well as her performance pieces and poems, please visit her website atwww.alisonbignon.com.