Spotlight on Intersections@5: Xavier Veilhan

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.

Veilhan_Sitting Nude

Xavier Veilhan, Sitting Nude, 2000. Jet print mounted on aluminum, 63 x 47 1/4 in. Gift of the artist, 2013

Sitting Nude is a self-portrait in a somewhat melancholic, dark lighting. The pose recalls a classical archetypal representation of the sitting nude, like Rodin’s The Thinker. It is part of a series of portraits of individuals and couples. Some are dancing, others are fighting. Some are just resting and contemplating, like this piece. It is something I have continued to explore with other nudes, like the ones presented in my show Music at Galerie Perrotin in Paris (March 2015). More than anything else, the focus lies on the silhouette. I believe that the psychology of the human representation in art also comes from the way the figure is standing or the way the body is installed in a certain position, and not only from the face, as is the case in the more traditional psychological portraiture. This doesn’t, however, mean I don’t look for expression. Although Sitting Nude is related to a generic idea of the human body, it also refers to something specific; in this case, myself. The melancholy of the image is more related to an assumed and manifested ethic for beauty.

Xavier Veilhan

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