The work of an artist has the capacity to highlight issues, to offer a reflection on this present reality or to change our view of the world. But if art must keep its freedom, the voice of the artist is more essential than ever in this world of shocks and conflicts. It is within this framework that the exhibition « Liberté masquée » brings together artists from four continents and different generations from September 15 to 26, 2021 at the Espace Christiane Peugeot in Paris.

Their distinct historical, social and individual heritages lead them to make different choices when confronted with their vision of freedom. For them, the meaning of freedom can be both history and recent developments, shared proximity, access to clean water and, of course, the ability to express oneself. Their visions of freedom offer us amazing mirrors in which the visitor might dip to more easily ascertain his or her own essentially plural freedom.

The group exhibition « Liberté masquée » presents works whose manifestations are as many statements and confrontations. This variety of creation shows how much freedom is plural. The works are brought together here in a fundamentally self-affirming way, through their experience and the framework in which each of their artistic paths was drawn.

Their statements show the close traps between over a significant period of time, both through their memories and through their perceptions of a present with sometimes hereditary colors. Whether it is the movements embraced at the risk of life and rebellion for Omer Amblas, access to clean water in Nigeria and other countries and the risks faced by women for Joseph Obanubi, or the possibility of expressing oneself, Rezvan Zahedi‘s work addresses the freedom of expression especially for women, a primary right that is still not respected in many regions, and Daniel Galicia‘s work deals with the major and exceptionally fluctuating issue of personality and sexual orientation. These four artists remind us how art plays a major role in our awareness of the world.

The exhibition « Liberté masquée » is an opportunity for an exchange with the artists on the question of freedom, but also a questioning for each guest, no doubt in resonance with their experience of the last months of confinement. As if to engage our « Liberté masquée », their works would spark interest, energy, and conversation at a time when the tumult of the world is extraordinary and art, the spur to our awareness of the world, is more important than ever, and surprisingly vital.

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The artists of the exhibition « Liberté masquée »

Omer Amblas

 « Liberté masquée » : the gaze of four artists from around the world at the Espace Christiane Peugeot in Paris
Migrants, 2016
Huille sur toile
195 x 291 cm
© Omer Amblas

Omer Amblas was born in 1948 in Capesterre-Belle-Eau, Guadeloupe. He lives and works near La Rochelle. He began painting at the age of 9, but it was not until he was 30 that he studied art history and design in Nantes.

Omer Amblas paints above all the expression, the feelings, not the detail. His favorite subject is the human face, which he paints like a landscape.
Through his works, he is interested in history, in his precursors who survived the abolition of slavery, but also in current events, when he paints the despair, the despondency, even the withering of the unsubmissive who go on excursions ready for anything, but how unstable and frustrated.

The presence of brushstrokes in his works, spread at a superficial level, makes a kind of physical and representative eradication, a kind of loss of memory and identity. His painting, between abstract art and expressionism, puts in scene characters who could not communicate their thoughts.

Daniel Galicia

 « Liberté masquée » : the gaze of four artists from around the world at the Espace Christiane Peugeot in Paris
Hasta hoy me siento en soledad, 2020
Série « What is the purpose of my visit? »
Stylo à bille, crayon de couleur et huile sur papier
18 x 12,5 cm
© Daniel Galicia

Daniel Galicia was born in 1993 in Mexico City. As a teenager, he left Mexico with his mother and moved to Montreal. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia-Montreal and then entered the Beaux-Arts de Lyon where he obtained his art degree with honors. He is currently at the Beaux-Arts de Paris.

As a young visual artisan, he uses the self-image as a working tool. Through his own experiences, the speculative chemistry of his cultures, Mexican, Quebecois and now French, and his homage to the women in his life, he raises the essential question of identity and gender, sometimes even to the point of freedom of rebirth.

Using testimonies, family photos and identities, he constructs his mythology by informing us of his transient experience, his bonds of adoration and his gender fluidity. Painting, drawing, photography, weaving and performance are the different types of narration.

Joseph Obanubi

 « Liberté masquée » : the gaze of four artists from around the world at the Espace Christiane Peugeot in Paris
A lopsided tale III ( Water aid ), 2020
Techno Heads
Impression à l’encre
75 x75 cm ( image ) 85 x 85 cm ( papier )
Edition de 5 ex
Signé, titré et numéroté sur vignette
© Joseph Obanubi
Avec la permission de MAGNIN-A, Paris

Joseph Obanubi was born in 1994 in Lagos where he lives and works. He studied graphic design at the University of Lagos.

After graduating at the top of his class, he embarked on his first artistic projects. His series « Techno Heads » placed him as a finalist for the Contemporary African Photography Prize in 2019. He won the 2019 British Council Emerging Artist Award. His work has been exhibited at the AKAA Art Fair and 1-54 Art Fair in London and Marrakech.

Through his work he explores issues of identity which he converts into an Afro-futuristic aesthetic. He gathers visual fragments of everyday existence, which he combines in digital montages in order to create a new perception that unites us.

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Rezvan Zehadi

 « Liberté masquée » : the gaze of four artists from around the world at the Espace Christiane Peugeot in Paris
Poème 6, 2019
Série « Je suis un poème lis-moi »
Impression à l’encre
150 x 100 cm
Edition de 10 ex
© Rezvan Zahedi

Rezvan Zahedi was born in 1987 in Booshehr, Iran. She lives and works in Paris. Rezvan Zahedi is a visual artist who first dedicated herself to photographing graffiti in the Iranian streets.

In 2013, she coordinated a surreptitious exhibition of her work in her country, because of the political commitment of her images, and was imprisoned. She participated in 2015, in Paris, in the exhibition « Hip-Hop : du Bronx aux rues arabes » at the Arab World Institute, where she presented her photos and advocated for the condition of women, criticizing the effect of specific norms or laws on their freedoms, not being able to return to Iran, she chose to stay in France and joined the Workshop of Artists in Exile.

She studied photography. She then exhibited her work at the Villa Rose in Paris, the National Museum of the History of Immigration and the Pavillon Carré de Baudoin in Paris. Rezvan Zahedi places the question of freedom at the heart of her artistic work, particularly that of women in the world.

The exhibition « Liberté masquée » is open from September 15 to 26, 2021 at the Christiane Peugeot space located at 62, avenue de la Grande Armée in Paris in the 17th. This space is available to all types of art and culture and promotes artists of all ages and disciplines.

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