A sense of ambiguity and mystery, of love going hand in hand with melancholy: these are some of the sentiments evoked by the dark and alluring works of Malagasy contemporary artist Joël Andrianomearisoa (1977 –). Having graduated from art school in Madagascar, Andrianomearisoa took another leap in his artistic development in France when he focused on architectural studies at the École spéciale d’architecture in Paris. Combining a keen artistic sensibility, impressive craftsmanship, and in-depth understanding of structure, Andrianomearisoa conjures up melancholy, deeply emotional sensory experiences with his dark textile works.
Love is nothing without feeling, and feeling is even less without love – this is the kind of thinking underpinning how Andrianomearisoa plays with the complex emotional experience reflected in his works. Warmth and earnestness meet a fragile cold, an isolated world of gloom and insecurity that also invites tenderness and wonder. Andrianomearisoa’s art contains echoes of geographical and spatial liberation and captivity; here, spatial constraints also allow scope for symbolic freedom enacted by the positions taken by the works and the viewer. Sharp edges and bright, even harsh light create shadows and reflections evocative of urban, harsh metropolitan architecture, while soft materials and living forms are suggestive of life, emotions, and freedom – a sensuous experience of the city setting and the living, breathing life found within.
Well-established and worldly
A well-established artist, Andrianomearisoa’s works have been featured at numerous highly respected exhibition venues around the globe, in solo shows and group shows alike. He exhibited at the first-ever Madagascar Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. His art can be found in cities such as Paris, Washington, and New York, and since 2001 he has authored ten books on art, art theory, and his own works, many offering poetic interpretations of his magnificent and mysterious works of art.