nobody loves no one
A Solo Exhibition by COFI
curated by Myrtille Tibayrenc
at NONAME Gallery, Chiang Mai
80 Moo 8, Takilek Road, Ban Twai, Hnong Kaew, Hang Dong, Chiang Mai
Opening: Saturday 8th of April, 6 – 10 PM.
Exhibition: 8 April – 30 May 2023
Hybridity, exoticism and folklore are key to understanding COFI’s flamboyant bestiary who grew up as a third culture kid between France, Mexico and Brazil among other countries in the Americas and is now based in Thailand for over a decade.
Inspired as much by Aesop’s fables or Ovid’s Metamorphoses as Mexican myths and Thai ghost stories, COFI’s whimsical creatures invite the viewer to plunge into a vivid world of wild emotions. Monitor lizards, bats or giant octopuses mirror the artist’s rich catalog of tales from around the world and from different eras but also draw inspiration from his most intimate experiences. Some of his characters like the werewolf can be seen as self-portraits, or representations of his intimate relationships. The loose words tossed across the canvases are often directly drawn from his passionate and tumultuous love affairs.
The large-scale formats of wavy canvases are immersive, highly colorful and attractive like a night creature wearing too much make up to cover-up her age or blandness. The homemade soft pastels used by the artist give a mat highly sensual velvety feel. Even though the compositions and depicted animals and plants are very much “alive” the general finish of the works is flat, as in a tarot card, or a popular image of a saint found in a side road shop in South America.
The depth of COFI’s art lies in its contrasts; Contrast between contemporary and urban art, ancient literature and popular culture references, the mythical and the factual, the universal and the intimate.
As an echo to the artist’s humor, a late-night karaoke with the curator and friends singing Wicked game by Chris Isaak was the inspiration for the title.
ABOUT THE ARTIST; COFI
COFI is an entity created in Bangkok in 2018 by gallerist Pierre Béchon who is originally from the suburbs of Paris (Yvelines), France. Using the notion of duality like chaos and cosmos, good and evil, love and hate for exemple, COFI consumes images and content through the internet and books to then illustrate them through a series of drawings.
The drawings often include elements that were part of the process of creation like songs lyrics, conversations on social media, quotes from books and more. The symbolism within the works often refers to multiple cultures which reflects the life experienced as a third culture kid changing countries, languages and schools since his youngest age. COFI likes to represent himself as a literal cultural vacuum cleaner. For each exhibition in which he is invited, concepts can change, be irrelevant or missing. He likes to think of himself as a hybrid.
ABOUT THE VENUE
Created by DeSiam, NONAME Gallery is a new space with an ambition to showcase international contemporary art exhibitions in a new warehouse located in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai.
DeSiam was established in 2002. It is known as Thailand’s largest collection of antique furniture and architecture pieces with a hand selected from Burma, Thailand, China and India.
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Tom Van Blarcom / Nuie Titichayapon
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