(...) 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 (...)

    Extract from an article by Maxime Scheinfeigel, published in Art Sud, n°50, 2005

A lot of them have been saved, but some are still looking for a host family...

Between 2004 and 2006 I painted 200 small "portraits" (24 x 30 cm) of gorillas, much like photo ID, to refer to the Cross River gorilla (Nigeria and Cameroon), a subspecies of the western gorilla. At that time there were about 200 individuals left in the wild and the portraits were meant to represent a symbolic conservation measure for this animal in an attempt to make people aware of the looming extinction.

Over the years many of the portaits have been adopted, but some of them are still available and are waiting for an owner !

Please have a look below and do not hesitate to contact me for more details.

Musée de Frontignan, France, 2005
Chapelle des Jésuites, Nîmes, France,2006
Galleri Gol, Norway, 2009
Château des Templiers, Gréoux-les-Bains, France 2010
Galleriet Kopervik Kulturhus, Norway 2016

Some exhibition views from the past:

Homage to endangered gorillas | 200 portraits

Oddbjørg REINTON © 2023