Rennes (France), 1989
Florent Stosskopf is self-taught painter based in Brittany, France. Stosskopf’s work deftly blends traditional themes and archetypes through a contemporary perspective, reminiscent of Jonas Wood, Guy Yanai, Hillary Pecis, or Paul Wackers, using bright, unrelenting colours that lay out his complex still lives and scenes plucked from the annals of Classical Antiquity, the Baroque movement, and Modernism.
As a self-taught painter, Stosskopf’s art-historical endeavours are shared with the viewer: art books on Picasso, Matisse, and contemporary ‘blue-chip’ artists are depicted strewn haphazardly about a busy, albeit still interior space. Do these spaces belong to the artist himself, offering us a unique glimpse into the life and pursuits of a passionate young artist eager to engage in a greater context? Or are they fantastical narratives, carefully crafted based on his own pedagogical and artistic discoveries? The sheer flatness of the works references Stosskopf’s so-called ‘former life’ as a graphic designer, but it is precisely that sensibility that lends itself to such vibrant paintings, teeming with energy and joie de vivre. Constructed like collages, Stosskopf’s paintings use saturated and vibrant colours, remove shadows to heighten both their stylized and disconnect from reality, translating the three-dimensional world into block colours and flat lines, all while retaining the complexity of the image.