Philippe Favier was born in 1957 in Saint-Étienne, France. A graduate from the École des Beaux-Arts de Saint-Étienne in 1984, Favier’s work is distinguished by his ability to constantly renew his plastic expression. Favoring a miniature scale, with certain grandiloquence characterizing the art of the time, he immerses himself in an imaginary world linked to photography, cinema and poetry, and borrows as much from ordinary everyday scenes as from the vast repertoire of art history, medieval macabre dances or exotic representations of orientalists. His works are also linked to a permanent process of collecting objects. Thus, Favier gleaned old cards, catalogs, photographs and family albums that he reinvested and transformed.
In his early works, the artist used cut-out papers enhanced with acrylic or colored pencils and created scenes with historical or mythological accents. To this technique, he quickly added the technique of cold enamel, which is still present today in his work. The supports of his works are transparent when he handles glass or opaque, with the use of slate or cardboard. He has composed series in which references to Bonnard and Matisse constitute many tributes and winks to some of the great elders, all on the scale of a postcard. Lover of detail, he works as a goldsmith, chisels his figures and guilloches into his backgrounds. He rediscovered the patience of the illuminators, to the point of revisiting the mutinous and phantasmagorical convolutions of the medieval manuscripts.
In 2004, Favier was invited by the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon to invest the exhibition spaces for more than a year, which gave rise to a vast cartographic installation entitled Géographie à l’usage des gauchers, evoking the notions of travel and exploration that recur in the artist’s work. In 2013, he presented a more photographic body of work at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. The exhibition NOIR… thus highlights a meticulous work of cut-out photographs, recomposed into paintings on a black or white background.