As we have seen with Caroline Kennerson and Tomás Saraceno, an artistic renewal of the cabinet of curiosity is not devoid of contemporaneity. Questions about the body and the universe have crossed paths with art since the creation of these mystical places, and continue to be a field of artistic experimentation. For Camille Park, the hybridization of biology is directly with Man, and more specifically, with classical painting. 

The Crystallization series

Camille Park is a French artist who lives and works in Ivry-sur-Seine. She was initially attracted to biology before turning to an artistic career. She draws her inspiration from her attraction to science to create unusual drawings directly influenced by the history of art. In her Crystallizations series, she uses famous paintings, such as the Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci, painted around 1480 by Piero di Lorenzo di Piero di Cosimo, an oil on wood in the Musée Condé in Chantilly. After printing the canvas, she painted crystallisations in gouache and Indian ink, a mixture of mineral and vegetable elements, reminiscent of algae, fungi or moulds. These take shape with the original painting, complete it and transport it to a parallel universe. 

Another portrait practice

Camille Park is not content to simply take up classical painting. She seems to meticulously choose famous portraits, of recognised artists, but also iconic subjects. Her search for hybridity is based on the universal recognition of the subjects transformed under her brush. Artists such as Sebastiano Del Piombo, Lorenzo Lotto, or Maarten de Vos, all painters of the 16th-17th century, are represented. It does not deviate from this period, which is considered to be the beginning of humanism, placing Man at the centre of the universe, but also of great advances in science. Scientific thinking and curiosity take precedence over blind belief, and return to the human condition. This realization also corrupts the belief in paradise and eternal life, as these paintings are corrupted by this persistent and insidious mould. However, this crystallisation finds a certain beauty in a life generated by death. The subjects, grey and cold, are sent back to their mortality, while the mineral and vegetable sprays blossom. In contrast, these long-gone subjects are given new life by being first vassal, then part of an organic whole in motion. Camille Park experiments with this idea to the point of materials, a mixture in relief, in movement, of paint on a flat and smooth surface. 

An ever-renewing legacy

Placing herself in the direct heritage of humanist art, the artist breathes into it a breath of life left by the stroke of her brush. She guides the viewer towards a dreamlike universe that is always alive, always moving, that pulsates and breathes on the glossy paper. It is the renewal of the hybridization between art and biology that is played out on her canvases, in a true contemporary mirabalia and naturalia


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