I finally found what was the French Paradox ! And I discovered that it was a popular American catchphrase ! So, for those who didn’t know like me, a French Paradox is the theory that the lower incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries (and obviously above all in France) compared to that in the US is a consequence of the larger intake of flavonoids from red wine in these countries ! French Paradox! Love it!

And a paradox is also “a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true, in France or elsewhere”, said the press release of the exhibit called French Paradox, whose opens tonight, Friday October 24th, in Bushwick at the Storefront Ten Eyck. A couple of weeks ago,  I introduced you to the only French art space that has been invited to participate to the Exchange rates, organized by the Bushwick-wide international collaboration with the Sluice Art Fair: La Couleuvre from Paris.

They selected 4 very talented artists, but I would like to focus on the work of Frederique Lucien. For 25 years, the artworks of Frederique Lucien have evolved from charcoal drawings to volumes. Frederique Lucien works as scientist, very meticulously. She is fascinated by the vegetal and mineral world. And the last 10 years, she also dedicated her work on fragments of the human body (cf. Anonymes series below). She is playing with sizes, scales and believes.

She cannot be described as just an painter or a sculptor, because she plays with confusion as if she was drawing in three dimensions. And more than just drawing, she sometimes plays with her charcoal as if it was a brush. As a painter, she focuses not on the contours of a body but more on its surface (see the legs). You can also find series of navels, ears, feet, hands, and mouths. The artist accentuates the skin tones, articulations, flaws or scars. These are the characteristics that symbolize who we are, the marks of the stories of our lives. But the work of Frederique Lucien confuses us. Instead of giving us means of identification, she confines us all to an anonymous status. A human being is a collection of body parts. Without a face, whether one has a scar, a handicap or an imperfection doesn’t matter, because they are nobody: just a collection of pieces. Even her galets, which could have a sexual connotation, are just parts, they are just flesh. You can find cold beauty, but you can also find things that are hard to see, hard to love, because they are strange and represent exactly what terrifies us all: being anonymous, death, the cold reality of our destiny. She is the serial killer of our illusions as humans. And she has come to collect us. Therefore, she brings about confusion, interrogation, and evolution.

French Paradox and belly buttons