Inspired by the writings of sociologist Émile Durkheim, the Franco-Spanish visual artist Bianca Argimón is creating sculptures, drawings and paintings that address sensitive societal issues from the angle of humor and paradox.
Reflection on major trends in global development, such as the digitalisation of everyday life, the crisis of the financial economy and the sharpening of international conflicts, coexists within the artistic practice of Bianca Argimón, along with irony and satire. Her exhibition at the Mansart Gallery in Paris, revealing a dozen new drawings, paintings and sculptures, which has been put together around the concept of anomie. Introduced by the 19th century French sociologist Émile Durkheim. It “characterizes the situation when social rules … lose their power and must give way to the new ones”, explains the shows curators Antoine Py and Camille Frasca, “In the contemporary society, they continue, everything becomes playlike”.
And the artist turns it into her profit. Among Argimón’s pieces at Mansart gallery – the clay fly swatter, which will break at first use, the drawing of a Greek statue giving the middle finger to the sky, and a realist painting of a hand rupturing bubble wrap – one of the few activities, the love for which unites all human beings.
Argimón’s sense of humor is complemented by her critical spirit, insight and talent for allegory. In order to demonstrate the ever-growing interconnection between physical and digital realities, the artist has painted a Q-code on top of the oil on canvas, redirecting those who focus the cameras of their mobile phones on the painting to a gif also created by her. The drawing of the enchanted garden has a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask as its main hero, who is and fishing in the dark river where a stream flows of luminescent green numbers, just like on the screens of spy laptops in Hollywood movies. The skeletons dance on the ruins of Wall Street in the center of a large-scale blue and white drawing, full of minor characters like Adam and Eve, Santa, US Senator John McCain and Arab sheikhs. On another canvas, there’s an office full of computers and telephones, which can be both a security room in a supermarket and a top secret CIA crisis center. In our technocratic era, this anonymous and sterile space has replaced the royal reception halls and parliament chambers as the main image of political power…
Employing the ”high” art forms, such as sculpture and oil painting, for hilarious subject matters, looking for absurdity in seriousness and mixing different aesthetics within the same art piece, Bianca Argimón knows how to play on contradictions and create out of them a rich, complex and captivating visual narrative.
Bianca Argimón’s “Par Anomie” solo show at the Mansart Gallery (5 rue Payenne, 75003 Paris, France) is on view from May 17 to June 16.
Text by Nikita Dmitriev