The new book by Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL contains images of his artworks. There is no contextualizing text nor captions within the pages. Yet, the book “says” a lot, not only about the artworks that are presented within but also about the way Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL works and thinks about his art. Within this relatively small A5 image book, containing around 200 images, we actually get a sense of the artist’s “l’oeuvre”. In this format, his “L’oeuvre” is not intended to be understood as a monumental body of work, but rather as a synthesis of many different artworks (d’oeuvrettes).
The artworks reproduce themselves and for an artist to continue to create new works is to choose invention before convention. When observed in isolation, one after the other, the artworks in the book might seem like disconnected fragments with different references and from different contexts but, when going a mere one layer deeper in our “reading”, we discover an unusual sedateness connecting all the fragments, in a poetic manner which goes beyond the individual messages of each artwork. What connects the images is not one chronological narrative, but many possible narratives based on either aesthetic elements, themes, or concepts.
The book opens up in a fan-like manner, encouraging numerous inattentions that may seem like conscious dissociation. Yet, at the same time, the book functions as a framework, which manages to turn the relationship of quantity into one of intensity. As a reader, we then become an active part of creating the synthesizing intensity. The book awakens in us a desire to grasp the relationships contained within so that the “reading” of this image book becomes an expression of our own desire to create. Thus, this continues the mutation of meanings presented to us on each page and in each artwork as we are scrolling through the book. We find ourselves overcoming fragments and differences through a lateral interpretation movement whose path crosses every contradiction and every sense of the commonplace. In order to find the real artwork, “l’oeuvre”, we find ourselves looking for a logos of continuous shifts in meaning in the unending chain that follows the journey of the image through great and small adventures. Artworks are being reproduced creating a chainlike engine that powers a vehicle of meaning. We are on a highway and we look through the book horizontally without gradients.
Next, there is the form and aesthetic expression of each artwork. Interestingly enough, in this book, we get a feeling of the abstract and figurative being equalized so the form and the text become one synthesized expression. The precision of the messages communicated via textual statements merges with the painter-like usage of colors (such as the blue helmet, the orange silhouette, etc.) and also with the carton-like aesthetics. These factors combine quite effectively to express the impatient speed of the production as well as the lack of possibility and will to invest in a fully-elaborated and polished finish. We discover that perhaps the artist has attenuated the form and material of the artworks, concisely and intentionally, all the while extolling the artworks’ openness. Thus the artist has enabled the capacity to create synthesis within the artworks in order to create the body of work or “l’oeuvre”.
Throughout the book, we sense the personal mood of the artist. We hear the artist’s own voice in the background; like an echo or a personal voiceover accompanying the story in the front that is told through the artworks. The flow of artwork expressions in the book is colored by these vibrations related to the artist’s individual sensibility and personal state of mind and it becomes clear that the artist’s “l’oeuvre” is inseparably connected with his view on life and the society that surrounds him. It is connected with his motivation for living and generating energy to continue on the road of life. The resulting conclusion is that “L’oeuvre” is obviously as much an artistic as an existential phenomenon.
The book is A5 Landscape format and consists of 200 color picture pages. The price is 15 € + shipping. To order a copy, please send an email