Diane Jodes shows a series of 40 acrylic paintings, animal portraits called ‘the Extremists’, representing nameless celebrities of their respective species.
Our eyes are involuntarily drawn to their gaze in an attempt to make contact. Maybe it is a reversed question: how much animal is in man or how much man is in animal? We may experience that our image of animals is a cultural construction and that we form our own mental pictures.
The artist plays here with the whole range of our views, like portraits from our grandparents’ photo allbums, staged, posed, in motion and snapshot. She often underpins her pictures with her own unique humour, which can oscillate between benevolence and slight malice.
Another series, ‘My home is my Castle’, shows typological parallels between animal and human dwellings, using the former as a starting point. It points to cultural and architectural efforts to imitate already-developed forms by animals and nature. Animals move in their elements secured by evolution; humans, on the other hand, are trapped in situations that urge them to constantly adapt to one another and to their environment.
The pairings of prints are presented in special enclosures, which further elaborate and enhance the statements.
The exhibition also includes two large portraits, which are very personal works: the artist's mother as a young girl, knitting; and last but not least, Beaubête, who is allowed to sit on the chair like it is a throne.
Finally, Diane Jodes shows a comprehensive series of drawings called ‘The Fallen’ and additional prints that testify to her confidence and expertise using these media.