15 rue des Arquebusiers 75003 Paris, 0142722127
July 6 - 30

Polaris Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of

Gaétan Vaguelsy,
Memento Vitae
curated by Smyrne-Lydie Delmas from July 6 to 30, 2022
A 2019 graduate of the Montpellier School of Fine Arts, Gaetan Vaguelsy now lives and works in Sète. Originally from Ile-de-France, he stopped his studies in high school, and began his wandering in the street. Embraced by this universe, he starts the  » graf  » with his group of childhood friends, his so-called crew. Not attached to the notion of « street art », he first practices graffiti vandalism as an extreme sport, without taking into account the viewer’s gaze but only that of his pairs. It is on trains, walls, subways that he sprays his name or blaze with the members of his crew, his band or his team. The first questionings settle, if the graffiti is an outlet then the painting is saving. He gradually leaves his daily life of wild city painting to integrate, by dint of determination, the Fine Arts of Montpellier. His training begins and his objective is to pay tribute to the graffiti culture. It is at this moment that his pictorial work starts to build itself around the mixture of cultures and symbols. The first intention being not to propose a copy of graffiti in a gallery, but rather to honor the cultures of the street through the white-cube.
He expands his theme and subjects to paint a plural youth around common ideas: joy, freshness and doubts. Through Gaetan Vaguelsy’s hyper-realistic work, the naturalness of a youth full of promise and vitality bursts onto the canvas where everything is possible, codes are broken. He narrates and tells a situation or rather a station, a stage of life, a singular moment. The birth of a child who is dear to us, like that of the child adored by The Three Wise Men (2021). The young Osama Elha, rearing his Yahama 250 YZ, (The Rider with a Rose, 2022) taking a posture reminiscent of Bonaparte on his horse, in an ego-trip by Jacques-Louis David. Nothing is imagined, everything is pictured. It is his daily life that is painted. The usual gestures left to chance are here sublimated. The common becomes sacred.
Gaetan Vaguelsy beyond the painter becomes the poet, beyond a remarkably precise technique, he gives to see a new vision of « his » world. The supporters-ultras, the vandal bikers in motocross without helmets on a highway, or the young people in tracksuits tri-band, are invited to the debate of the contemporary painting in the manner of the old masters. Tracksuits, bobs, sneakers painted in oil on linen canvas, are combined with lilies and columbine. They are the new codes that speak to young people of all social classes. These are the attributes and ornaments that embody the symbols of purity, royalty, power and pleasure. This is where the poetry of hyperrealism operates in his work.

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