Paris, 10 October 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).
Robert Combas, a French contemporary painter, was born on 25 May 1957 in Lyon. He has lives and worked near Paris since 1980.
The artist spent his childhood and youth in Sète, in the South of France, in a fervently communist family. From 1975 to 1979, he studied in the Montpellier Academy of Fine Arts. As soon as he first entered the “Beaux-Arts”, Combas brought innovative aesthetics. As he said himself: “I always wanted to do something entirely new, I always needed to be different from the others, I think I am a dandy.” While conceptual art dominates the French artistic production, he went counter-current, and chose to redefine the use of space, colour and figuration.
With the basis principle “everything has been done already”, Combas appropriates the great clichés of art, and opens new possibilities in order to return to figuration. In 1977, Combas painted the Batailles (Battles) series, a relevant and still current subject, and went on with his variations on the figure of Mickey Mouse. He then created the “Arabic Pop Art”. This expression, that he himseld invented, name works that look like “underdeveloped countries” advertisements, marked with fake Arabic phrases. His aesthetics were at that time rather tough, and influenced with his young adult’s interests: television, rock, comics, sex,etc.
The exhibition “5/5 Figuration libre France/USA”, organised in 1984 by the Paris Museum of Modern Art officially recognizes this movement, comparing it with the generation of New York graffiti artists (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Crash, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf). He is now among the best-selling French artists on the market: his work Le guerrier et le spirituel, for instance, was sold for €64,000 last July.
The GZ Gallery in Paris will present, from 11 October to 30 November 2012, works realised by Robert Combas between 1983 and 1994, a period most appreciated by collectors and art lovers.