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DELPHINE LEBOURGEOIS | 'Bang Bang Girls'
October 2nd 2020
Through themes of identity and individuality, Delphine Lebourgeois tells stories about human psychology and social interaction. Working with several mediums, including collage, pencil, pen, ink and watercolour, the French artist creates her sceneries from various sources, transforming them digitally into arrangements; an artistic practice she has refined for more than a decade. In the print edition Bang Bang Girls, Lebourgeois introduced comic book references while exploring routes of lurking rebellion of a younger generation, challenging authorities as part of growing up and finding their personality. Released in 2016, Bang Bang Girls sets the tone in a bright, fresh and eye-catching narrative.
by Henrik Riis
NEWS FROM EYESTORM
Exploring ideas of conformism and how we interact as individuals in a society have been visualised through art since civilisations were formed. From the first wall decorations appeared in ancient Egypt three thousand years BC - and up through the centuries - complex social norms and everyday relations between people were depicted on various object from Greek pottery at the time of Socrates to golden Byzantine mosaic in the middle ages.

While the role of the historic wall paintings and artefacts depicted society at the time and performing an educational role, Lebourgeois contemporary work explore the part power relations plays in each of our lives. Behavioural expectations from the people around us are ever-present - whether it is family, friendship, romantic partner, workplace or community.

In ‘Army’, one of the artist’s early works and a composition she regularly revisits, a group of women are shown in an identical pose and standing in a two-dimensional military formation. Their ceremonial dresses are shaped like a knight’s helmet - as each woman raises her colourful sword with a charging facial expression. Likenesses stops here and as in all Lebourgeois’ works it is the details that is the story. One woman stands out from the crowd holding a pink balloon, not a sword, and each woman wears a different hat; a red octopus, an sneering ferret, a pink flamingo or a volcano-shape erupting solitaire diamonds. The artist is fascinated by hats and other head-dresses and many of her figures are adorned by a piece of eccentric millinery, sometimes no less than a toy or a genealogy tree. These headpieces act as poetic metaphors hinting at the subject’s emotions, dreams and aspirations.
DELPHINE LEBOURGEOIS
Army, 2011

Edition of 20
57(w) x 72(h) cm
22.44(w) x 28.54(h) inches
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DELPHINE LEBOURGEOIS
Army, 2011

Edition of 20
57(w) x 72(h) cm
22.44(w) x 28.54(h) inches
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Delphine Lebourgeois (French, b. 1976)

Army , 2011

57(w) x 72(h) cm
22.44(w) x 28.54(h) inches
Giclee print on 310 gsm archival etching paper.
Edition of 20
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As Lebourgeois’ practice and themes developed, her precise scenarios have progressively included humour and become more carefree; smoking tattooed female swimmers with perfectly done hair, calmly lying in the surface of the water; Snow White gagged with a poisonous red able; a woman relaxing on an big inflatable pink flamingo; and diving infants with spears, trying to overcome a giant octopus. However light-hearted, the underlying messages of belonging, self-representation and adaptation to social norms are always there.

The works are personal, influenced by her childhood and later as a young woman, and newly graduated artist, working and surviving in London. As a natural evolution, most of her subjects in her work are women, with men only appearing occasionally.

Lebourgeois' images are collages in their making as well as in the way the ideas are built: inharmonious elements act with each other and grow organically into a beautiful and surreal universe. Starting from a medley of found objects or imagery from magazine cut-outs to Renaissance painters - or quickly drafted ideas springing from her mind - she digitally layers the elements allowing her to effortlessly work with composition and scale. Once the desired scenery is perfected, lines and colours are drawn manually on rice paper, scanned again - and layered and entwined in a rich and colourful graphic ‘lace’ which in some parts become nearly abstract. Any break in the pattern is acting as a door for a story to enter.

Bang Bang Girls from 2015 features three girls shooting at caped superheroes descending from the sky. The girls appear to be young teenagers as suggested by their pretty dresses, bare legs and frilly socks paired with black patent shoes, standing together in a group amongst flowers, as if playing in the park on the way home from school. Their brightly-painted rifles might look like fashion accessories, but the falling figures in the distance tell us otherwise. The initial sense of innocence takes a slightly disturbing turn.
DELPHINE LEBOURGEOIS
Bang Bang Girls, 2016

Edition of 35
4 Artist Proof (APs)

70(w) x 100(h) cm
27.56(w) x 39.57(h) inches
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Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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DELPHINE LEBOURGEOIS
Bang Bang Girls, 2016

Edition of 35
4 Artist Proof (APs)

70(w) x 100(h) cm
27.56(w) x 39.57(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
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Any Comment? *
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Delphine Lebourgeois (French, b. 1976)
70(w) x 100(h) cm
27.56(w) x 39.57(h) inches
Archival print with screenprinted layers

Image size: 58.5 x 86 cm / 23" x 34"

Signed and numbered on front.
Edition of 35
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 790.00
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Lebourgeois’ drawings always tell a story and are overflowing with meaning and symbolism. In Bang Bang Girls, the superheroes likely represent performance and perfection, or even a parent or other influential elder, making the shooting down of them an act of disrespect and rebellion. Once the girls discover their childhood idols, the fictional superheroes, don’t actually exist, they are visibly enraged and take matters into their own hands. An illustration of betrayal and the shattered dreams of a generation.

Pattern and graphic imagery have been an important element of Lebourgeois’ work in recent years, and here comic book references appear in the dresses of the three main subjects to connect them with the superheroes they are shooting down. ‘Boom!’, ‘Bang!’, ‘Pop!’. Words often seen in comics such as Batman, relating to the shooting sounds made by the guns. The overlapping of layers and characters are used again and again in Bang Bang Girls; a reoccurring technique used by the artist in her work to signify clarity.

Bang Bang Girls is one of two print editions released in collaboration between Delphine Lebourgeois and Eyestorm in 2015 and 2016. The manually layered screenprint is skilfully made with the black shoes and gloves enhanced via an extra coating of gloss for definition; a method also appearing on the dots in the dresses to add texture. Bang Bang Girls is an edition of 35, signed and numbered on front. Eyestorm introduced the artist in 2015 with the debut print edition La Ronde.

Lebourgeois is a graduate of Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon in France and Central St Martins, London. Since 2011, The artist’s work has been widely exhibited at art fairs and solo shows.

You can find more details about Bang Bang Girls on Delphine Lebourgeois’s artist page here.
 
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