Artistic grain of salt
Chris D.’s artistic journey is almost like off-piste sculling. But her tracks in the powder snow reveal a creator who differs from the vast majority of others in one essential respect. Chris D. does not live to build up a pedigree from meeting to meeting and exhibition to exhibition. To follow her own path, at her own pace, corresponds to a vision of art as an aesthetic of life, an art of living.
Even if she has given herself a name like Chris D., Christelle Duval does not seem to care about titles and medals. She has never been obsessed with technical or social mistakes. Indifferent to the podiums, she has always preferred to approach the art on the same level. An article in the Républicain Lorrain, an interview on France Bleu… That’s all it takes for her to find that life is smiling on her. And why? Because she thinks that it’s rather good for an artist to go from music to “photography” via a diploma in Webdesign? Perhaps. But not only that.
Everything in Chris D.’s career leads one to think that, for her, the artist must be permanently inscribed in her human and social environment. And not just to reveal finished and varnished works to the public during an exhibition. Christelle’s art breathes at a different pace. Of course, it’s great that a barge is available for her openings in Metz, and in Basse-Ham, the Salle de la Capitainerie. But that’s not the main thing. It’s as always. She strives to be good every time and to feel life where she is. Wouldn’t Chris D. dream of bigger, more expensive white-walled galleries or high ceilings with moulding and gilding?
The artist obviously does not confuse honours with the obvious. If she holds an exhibition in a town or village, it is obvious to her that the Mayor or the Madam will be there. Christelle Duval has the genius to make art part of life. It follows her everywhere. Where she is, it is too. So the local mayor, struck by the sudden naturalness of this evidence, comes not for her but because he has a duty to come and see the art that comes to see him in his town. This is called putting the church back in the middle of the village. And the town hall is never far away. Christelle Duval knows how to make the truths lost along the way seem natural. She knows the audience. She does not forget that she belongs to them.
But why does art have to be so intimately embedded in everyday life in her eyes? First of all, because if you approach photography as a musician, you think that when you play an instrument, the notes fly out and enter the ears of all passers-by. You just have to do the same with the lens that you always take with you to the market. A photographer has to make his/her pictures “heard” by everyone. But that is not all. His/her art makes this clear.
Combining photography and graphic design means taking the world and reshaping it. You start with what exists, taken on the spot, and you modify it, if you want, ad infinitum. And then you show the world that has not been treated by art, what it could or can be. Chris D.’s work is part of this gap. Her art has the simple and natural project of beautifying life. To her taste. To her idea. And sometimes life spontaneously agrees with Christelle. Like when it sends her an invitation to participate in the Luxembourg Art Fair. The Mayor will surely be there.
My creations are based on photos of objects, settings, textures, animals, which I take in various everyday places or during my travels.
They are then carefully selected and reworked to tell a colourful story or convey a particular message. Your own imagination and life experience will give you the freedom to make them your own, to make them exist through you.
This is how I see art.