(...) Each painting pertains to a tradition of the portrait that painting notably passed on to photography at the turn of the 18th century – the composition, the pause, the light, focused on a part of the face, the gentle or intense look give the visitor the impression that every gorilla emerges from an endless dream or from a mysterious stasis magnified by the sublime black backgrounds which defines them all. O. Reinton thus honors each face like a notable member of a family who would care about telling their generational history thanks to the so-called “family portraits”. But, paradoxically, each portrait is also a print, the painting facsimile of a more ordinary kind of images – the photo ID, the one that you can get at a photo-robot for instance. Emotion then bursts out from this discrepancy between the two categories of images present here (...) extract from an article by Maxime Scheinfeigel, published in Art Sud, n°50, 2005

Paying homage to endangered gorillas
I have painted 200 small "portraits" of gorillas, much like photo ID, to refer to the Cross River gorilla (Nigeria and Cameroon), a subspecies of the western gorilla. Today there are probably about 200 individuals left in the wild and they will inevitably disappear. Thus this work represents a symbolic conservation measure for this animal in an attempt to make people aware of the looming extinction.
What I have done and would like to do:
 exhibit the portraits of gorillas, each 24 x 30 cm
Each canvas is hanging on a black band, evocative of mourning.
The hanging scheme depends on the place, but the idea is the same:
the viewer has to feel surrounded, observed and even shut up.
In a small place they are covering the walls from top to bottom.
In a large place they are hanging in one horizontal line, in a continuous circle when it's possible.
Feel free to contact me for any exhibition proposal!
Articles et textes
Oddbjørg REINTON
visual artist
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