Jean-Francois Debongnie's canvases seamlessly straddle seemingly disparate elements—old and new; organic and synthetic; vibrant ochre, blue, and red against muted shades of gray and black. Typically consisting of a background constructed out of seven to ten layers of acrylic paint in varying shades, which he tops with impasto flower heads suspended atop delicate Chinese ink stems. The stems—mesmerizing, winding, and ethereal—are an ideal contrast with the solid texture and color of the flower heads they support. Debongnie understands each flower as both an iconographic floral signature that expresses essential qualities rather than a precise botanical representation and as one character in the landscape, he invites the viewer to explore. This ability to move between the undeniably solid and the whimsically effervescent as well as the individual and the greater world evokes the comfortable dualism that is always at play in Debongnie’s works.
About Jean-Francois Debongnie
Belgian, b. 1968, Brussels, Belgium, based in Singapore