Exhibition view, Uranus Skin, 2022. Photo Julien Gremaud.

David Weishaar



The world of the night has the magical power to disrupt our bearings. Painter David Weishaar uses this confusion of the senses to express his own perception through his new series of paintings, Uranus Skin, exhibited at the Galerie Mighela Shama.

Exhibition view, Uranus Skin, 2022. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Placed under the aegis of the Moon, the artist materializes the diversity of its light spectrum. Sometimes illuminating his nocturnal compositions as if in broad daylight, the light of the satellite tends to fade away, leaving the colours to fade away in turn as the darkness sets in. It is in this semi-darkness that the artist points out the ability of our eyes, by dint of persistence of vision, to become accustomed to seeing forms and details emerge little by little. By integrating, through colour, a certain temporality in the apprehension of these intimate scenes, the artist pursues his pictorial reflection in the representation of his protagonists and motifs between erasure and appearance.

"The simplification of forms also contributes to the symbolic aspect: the anatomy of the models is refined and evanescent, they do not belong to any precise place. The settings are mostly abstract scenes in which the pictorial narrative is full of meaningful anecdotes", explains the artist.

David Weishaar, Two Moons, Three Changes, 2022, Oil on canvas, 140 x 90 cm.

Indeed, if Uranus Skin was born from his solitary nocturnal wanderings, the painter has deliberately recreated imaginary landscapes and portraits. A fully personal vision in which plants and living beings metamorphose once the darkness sets in. It is therefore not surprising to find in David Weishaar's paintings moths that generate their own light: a light that is so radiant, even fluorescent, that it almost seems to vibrate before our eyes and give life to these still lives. Or it is not uncommon to observe trees illuminated by delicate flowers, taking on the appearance of a starry sky. Thus, under the artist's brush, these beings, naturally destined to disappear, become eternal.

David Weishaar, Queering Moon, 2022, Oil on canvas, 120 x 110 cm.

As for the characters, who might be thought to be imperturbable, they are transformed in turn, once night has fallen: the skin of their faces takes on cosmic colours, their eyes become brilliant, their gaze subtly fixes us. They advance alone in the half-light thanks to their self-luminosity, like modern vampires.

By identifying with this fantastic figure, the artist makes an implicit link with his personal history as a queer person. The artist, by using this metaphor, deplores the intolerance and rejection that queer people still face today.

David Weishaar, Love Poem for Narcissus, 2022, Oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm.

By choosing the figure of the vampire, David Weishaar translates plastically and poetically the progressive transition of bodies. For in parallel to these moths with their ephemeral lives, the protagonists undergo a transformation that ultimately elevates them to a certain eternity.

Reading author Paul B. Preciado, who describes his own experience of transition in his story An Apartment on Uranus, made a deep impression on David Weishaar, who consciously refers to it in the title of his series Uranus Skin.

Exhibition view, Uranus Skin, 2022. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Exhibition view, Uranus Skin, 2022. Photo Julien Gremaud.

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