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Oxymorons - ISTANBUL

"In the big compositions of his latest urban series, Bernard Garo emphasizes the complexity of architectural structures and their imposing succession of columns, arches and domes, all bathed in a golden light, inside of which we imagine Byzantine mosaics. His willingness to dispense with decoration to bring out curves and surfaces has not quite managed to eliminate completely the overflowing richness of these places, which in his paintings invites the resurgence of a past that gradually dissolves afresh. One feels the artist’s fascination with such planned erasures of its blooming Oriental richness, of which hardly any trace remains. His fragmented vision of the world, crystallized in its antique beauty, calls to mind the anticipated end of this city by virtue of its delicate position in an active seismic zone. The subterranean fault that threatens to demolish Istanbul manifests itself metaphorically in Bernard Garo’s work with his open façades allowing glimpses of the wounds of a torn architecture, in the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, or in those brick walls where we sense fissures and cracks deepening over time. The visitor is thus transported into a theatrical universe and desert that transcends the photographic images out of which they emerged, to restore not merely the appearance, the evanescent splendor, but above all the nostalgic light of a world that is disappearing in one last jolt of magnificence."   Nicole Kunz

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