Christian Pendelio, an artist of French origin born in 1967 in Toulouse, was fascinated by art and drawing from a tender age. Readings in the library introduced him to this unique way of expressing thoughts and emotions. He is self-taught but this has not stopped him from selling his works from a young age, starting with classic watercolour. He explored ancient genres such as allegories, illumination, and surrealism and soon realized that art aims to bring life and body to a message an artist aims to bring across to his audience. Comic readings further helped him in his ability to tell a story through his paintings and style.
Today his paintings are a long way from this, they depict other worldly scenes that capture the viewer's imagination. Christian likes to express poetry through symbolic representations - metaphors, images, shapes, words and ideas. Here the characters are inseparable from their environment, their reality and dreams are bound in a parallel universe. We see a world where it is normal for angels to appear as fishermen, girls as gardens of hope, stars as musicians and flyingfish. In this world the rules are reversed, men are even sometimes in the charge of animals. Christian is most famous for turning his canvas into a magical world of fairy tales, spiced with witty allegories.
His passion for life and his faith in love give his work a whimsical touch. The dreamy paintings present not only a playful tone, but also gives way the stories and romance concocted within his mind. Landscape is more than just a depiction of a scenery, but the imagery deduced from fantasy and voyages, as well as the projection of inner feelings; whereas a voyage is often a process of discovery and evocation of emotions and wishes, long-forgotten or buried deep in one's heart. His characters may seem strange, but he likes to paint what unites them over their differences.
Christian likes to provide a base for the viewer's imagination to expand upon. There is certainly detail, but his art works as a stepping stone for us to develop ourown story based on our past, present and even our dreams. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries since 1994, and are now in private collections in many places around the world. They can be seen in art galleries, especially in Asia, Hong-Kong, Singapore and in France.
Christian Pendelio presents his wintry paintings with intriguing paradox: a mixture of joy and sadness, the gloomy wintriness and the evocation of life and hope… Starting his artistic career in comic strip and watercolor, the self-taught French artist stylizes his artwork with his surrealistic stroke and a sense of humor. Full of allegory and symbols, the whimsical imagery is more than just the candy for the eyes, but also tastes of sourness and bitterness. Flowers in the paintings indicate the fleetness of life, while girls a homage to femininity and fertility; a sailor cruises to the unknown world with the companion of love, reincarnated as a mermaid; the fisherman, using moonlight and stars as bait, allegorizes the artist who strives to catch people's eye with his peculiar ideas. These emblematic characters, as Pendelio's signature in his artwork, are interacting with the painted fairyland from which they are inseparable. Carefree as they may look, they all have their own stories and arein search of hope and happiness, just like what we do in reality.
The rich color and the pastel tone depict a magical world, whereas the whimsy motif gives some space of various interpretations. The dreamy imagery is not only a visualization of the artist's imagination, but also insight and inspiration about life. In spite of the seemingly lifeless and motionless scene in the frosty winter, spring will come at last when life and hope are revived.
Selective Work Showcase, State-of-the-Arts Gallery, Hong Kong
The Michelangelo Effect, State-of-the-Arts Gallery, Hong Kong
Another Plane, State-of-the-Arts Gallery, Hong Kong
On Childhood Tales by Christian Pendelio
Our childhood memories are invaluable. If we compare our lives to a kind of "gold rush", we as prospectors seek what is precious in life by shaking and turning gold pans in the water. Whatever enters the pans are mainly sifted out, but the prized treasures are always left behind at the bottom. To me, childhood tales are gold in our existence, and should remain throughout our lives. The memories of aged men and women are often summoned throughout time and transformed into an eternal come-back. What I attempt to find through the art of painting is to achieve something close to this: the enjoyment, the surprising, the marvellous aspects of life - with perhaps a special touch of fantasy. For me, a child's world is free of reality where the frontier between the real and imaginary world are completely abolished.
Through my most recent paintings, I have attempted to explore reality and fantasy as two distinct yet conjoined points on a roof. The brown and white colours represent memories of true existence, captured and eternalised in sepia photographs. The vivid, bright rainbows of colour symbolize a projection of emotions and fantasies of childhood flights of fancy. The creation of these images were inspired by Paul Klee's words: "Art does not reproduce the visible - it makes it." Some may find that attempting to 'catch' or preserve the flowers of my own childhood garden, as narcissistic. And perhaps in a way, it is; a common problem among artists. I simply hope this 'mirror of a narcissist' is large enough to project yourself onto; to discover merriment, figments of a child's imagination and most importantly, gold.