These People Those People

Oil on canvas, 150x50 cm (piece), since 1998~

By Gilles Guiheux / October 5, 2008

The artwork of Xavier which I first happened to see was one of the whole-body portraits. The work was displayed at the front window of a Parisian gallery. Amidst the darkness of the night, my attention was suddenly caught by the painting. While wearing a green coat, the man was naked, displaying his phallus. The colour composition was captivating: the almost Veronese green mantle and the complexion of the tanned body. The posture adopted by the man was natural and yet incongruous. It was a remarkable work. However, the series was

not yet finished. Xavier would add several other portraits. In all of them, I found the same intention to convey the liveliness of colours and the warmth of human bodies; the same intention to express the essence of mankind while at the same time often concealing the faces. These paintings are reminiscent of the works of the Italian Renaissance and of Piero della Francesca.

Social historian of China, Gilles Guiheux is a professor at Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 (Languages and Civilizations of Eastern Asia).