Dans mes mains [In My Hands] is both the title of my exhibition and that of my most recent, bronze sculpture. An act full of intensity, in a robust material. The head is concealed behind a cascade of hair, flowing like water. In the absence of a face, all the tension in the work is transferred to the figure’s act, around which the sculpture is organized. Rather than latent menace, we are witnessing the final moment of a combat. The scene appears truncated, the event is finished, the action is over and now fixed in bronze. At first glance, we see only the figure’s hair, but as we move around her, we discover her high-heeled shoes. Associated with the expression of dominance, they embody the attributes of conquering femininity. Both conquering and compelling, as her proportions are much larger than life. If she were to stand, she would certainly tower over the viewer.

I’ve placed this sculpture together with a series of recent paintings of adolescents. I observe young people in museums, or in the street, both in France and abroad. These images are snapshots of today’s world. These teenagers rarely look at each other, nor do they exchange a great deal verbally, yet they come together, almost blending into one another. Their identities merge in intense friendships, where each is the reflection of the other. The backgrounds are painted in broad strokes, they contain no details, they are pure color, as with Ingres, who I often think of. I really admire the modernity of his female figures, the care and precision given to the details of the clothing, the folds and pleats, the embroidery and even the corseting of 19th century women, I have to admit. I tried to depict the graphic lines that criss-cross the bodies of these teenagers. I tried different ways of framing the figures and various points of view, from both above and below. The colors are drawn from the palette I’m currently using: acidic green, mauve, orange and charcoal blue.

Françoise Pétrovitch, December 2023.