Jean-Luc Verna: punk, post-punk, queer, shapeshifting and provocative.
Passing through a sensual black velour curtain, and onto a floor where the dust is made of shooting stars. A thousand sequins welcome us into Jean-Luc Verna’s cabinet of curiosities. It comes as no surprise that he’s made his body the canvas for his imaginative experiments.
Tattooed from his moustache to his thighs, the contours of Verna’s squat, strange body evolve through his artistic practice as they for him, his primary subjects. Using videos, photos, performance pieces and drawings, Verna creates an elevated position from which to explore our own vanities, thus confronting our own mortality and questioning our beliefs. A thousand and one personalities at any one time; the leaders, the dancer, the anarchist and the fetishist.
By recreating his own aesthetic universe of black jackets, stiletto heels, medieval faces and cheap skulls, the exhibition shows us the true power – and ambivalence of his work. Ultra-baroque and sumptuous in a performance where he meets a demon, Verna’s work occasionally borders on science fiction. Even with such strong forces of individuality, Verna succeeds in resonating within many voices, myths and characters – which is the beauty of his complex offering.
Such a voyage into the unconventional, iconoclastic universe of one of the most punk, queer artists of his generation means that the Mac Val’s retrospective is both a tribute and an experience. We are truly immersed into the heart of the artist’s fantasies, his dark choice of soundtrack and his overwhelmingly sober disposition. Audacious but open-minded and always focused on the viewer, this retrospective disturbs as much as it enthuses.