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Michel Quarez Poster Art

Quarez wall2 Text and image: Joel Ma

There are two reasons to visit the Michel Quarez Poster Art retrospective other than the impressive works on display. 1) The gallery is inside the magnificent Bibliotheque Forney, a medevial castle which houses an extensive art library, garden and dramatic courtyard. 2) The location close to the Seine in the perpetually interesting Marais district.

When viewing the work of Michel Quarez, one is struck by his prescient connection to today’s modern electro fashion - black jackets and jeans offset by fluo high-top sneakers of Paris teens or the techno affection for colour, see artists such as M.I.A or Lady Gaga. His style is reminiscent of Basquiat or Herring as well as early New York grafitti but still maintaining a distinctly French identity.

From a re-imagined French flag where the blue, white and red are exaggerated into bright fluorescence drowning out the patriotism, to child like finger painted homo-erotic nudes the posters swing from innocence to subversion.   Using a palette of bold colours that oscillate in the brightest octaves his work has a palpable joy and confidence to it, often smuggling themes of racial equality, workers' rights and gay pride into even the simplest commercial posters for Citroën. Quarez employs techniques which were ahead of their time and as far back as the 70’s he was experimenting with stencil art and the tracings of computer generated digital distortion. The works vary in size from small A3 posters to the impressive back wall murals and the Bibliotheque Forney’s large open plan gallery is perfect for viewing them. Get along to see this great retrospective and witness an artist whose ability to capture the cutting-edge image is  just as   relevant today.

Michel Quarez Poster Exhibition
Biblioteque Forney
1 rue du Figuier
75004 Paris
Metro: Pont Marie (Line 7)
Tickets: 4 Euro
Until 30 January 2010

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