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Anne- Christine Roda defines a highly original interpretation of the portrait: in her work the painting is entirely subjugated to the portrayal of man’s fragility.
Her paintings, in terms of the choice of pose for her models and the neutral treatment of their backgrounds are as rooted in tradition, as her subjects are sourced unequivocally from our contemporary era. Her choice of subject speaks directly to our everyday lives.
Hers ‘sitters’ – very diverse in age and social status are striking in their individuality. Yet going beyond the individual, their very diversity represents disparate fragments of a mosaic combining to reveal an image of humanity pulsating with life. Through this shared humanity each portrait has the power to evoke in an instant for the viewer, the most personal of memories.
Thanks to her training as a picture restorer, Anne Christine, with each meticulously applied layer of paint gradually reveals her sitters face in all its naked intimacy. The features emerge with precision and realism. The gentle hollow of a fine wrinkle, the texture of a strand of hair or even the moisture of a glistening eye: it’s in this quest for exactitude and fidelity to her subject that the individual is revealed in all its sensitivity. The choice of a neutral expression is deliberate, in so doing, leaving the portrait open to the personal interpretation of each person who stands before it.
The technique of precision exercised in the treatment of each face extends also to the sitter’s body and clothes. These latter anchor the composition firmly in our era through the creases of a crumpled tee shirt, the delicate embroidery on a bodice or a simple tattoo.
It was the dawn of photography amongst other things that heralded the decline of the painted portrait and yet it is from a photograph that Anne Christine works, ultimate proof that while digging deep into the traditions of her art form she distances herself from this very tradition in seeking a naked rawness in her representations.
The artist’s visual interpretation of her subject, the viewer’s gaze on the work of art, that questions the representation of reality- when the painting becomes both a reflection and a fragment of humanity.