Friends of ArtMalaysia

Charly Lesquelin

Charly Lesquelin is from a small locality called Les Lianes situated in the heights of the Saint-Joseph district: the southernmost tip of Europe as some refer to the south of Reunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean. The landscape is travelled from peak to shore by deep cut gullies flanked by patches of primary forests that slope down and finally drop into an angry ocean in an intricate lacework of black and red-brown lava gemmed with sparkling olivine or muted by grey and blue moss. Here, mother earth has spilled its incandescence into the omnipresent ultra-marine of the Indian Ocean. Ever since the black coastline stands its ground, glistening and proud as the powerful swell tests its resilience crashing against its jagged cliffs and bursting into an applause of salty spray. Above, voluptuous hills climb in ribbons of intense greens spiked by ruby, crimson and golden flowers until the dark volcanic crown that catches and shreds the clouds. And the sky: an endless moving kaleidoscope of hues and climates. The artist’s exceptional talent as a colorist; the geometrical beams that occasionally deconstruct his compositions,  the textured surfaces are all drawn from the land he strides, with watercolors at first, then oil and acrylic. His many visits to China and Malaysia and artistic exchanges with artists from around the southern hemisphere have inspired his inks and washes. Each medium is attached to a thread that veins his oeuvre. Landscapes are of oil, portraits acrylic and mixed media. Genre scenes echo his island or faraway lands he conjures up in memory.

The women and men that have peopled his corner of France all came, without any exceptions, from elsewhere. Pregnant with memories and mystiques in waves they landed and took root. Charly Lesquelin’s work is haunted by their features which he captures with infinite tenderness.

And the entrails of the industrial world loom up challenging the sacred Indian banyan and its tentacular aerial roots. His is a world of dreams and symbols.