For some, collagen is the elixir of youth. Its name conjures thoughts of supplements and sub-dermal treatments, promising smoothness and beauty. But for french artist Jean-Francois Le Minh, collagen offers an entirely different promise.
Le Min, based between New York and Mexico, uses collagen to build supple texture in his large-scale paintings. Using oil and acrylic paint, charcoal and ink, he creates abstract artworks that feature a bricolage of objects.
Invigorating colours and delicious textures define Le Min’s art, which depicts components of a mysterious, highly personal system.
Le Minh crafts a new language from old words, liberating objects from their function by incorporating them into his art. Sponges, tiles, matches, envelopes and other studio detritus join the catalogue of materials that, together, become a complete art object. Though Le Min is concerned with enabling materials to speak together in new ways, the final painting is but a part of his practice.
For Le Minh, the significance of spontaneous gesture and unconscious logic, alongside a continued dialogue between his materials, are of greater personal importance than his completed work of art. For this artist, the performance of painting and the intuitive feeling behind this movement are essential to his practice. Though, fortunately for us, these exquisite paintings exist as tangible evidence of his efforts.
Jean-Francois Le Minh’s artworks express past movement through fast brushstrokes and old receipts, but the real question to ask, he explains, is ‘not so much where have you been, but where are you going?’