White Walls Project Space Presents:
Les Clochards Célestes
Portraits of the Tenderloin
White Walls Project Space is pleased to announce Les Clochards Célestes by Amsterdam-based artist Adele Renault. The opening reception will be Saturday, March 15, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through April 5, 2014.
Painter Adele Renault looks where most people tend to ignore, especially when wandering the streets of San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Visiting regularly since 2010, she started to recognise the outdoor inhabitants — first the pigeons, then the people.
Les Clochards Célestes is the French translation of The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac’s novel that is set in San Francisco’s bohemian scene in the late fifties. The word ‘celestial’ has heavenly connotations but literally means ‘of the sky’. This adjective suits both the homeless and the feathered which make up Renault’s new body of oil paintings.
Renault’s portraits are non-voyeuristic, isolated from their surroundings, enlarged and bathing in sunlight. She engages with the individual and always starts a painting with the eyes. “After that,” Renault states, “the soul reveals itself and painter and painting start to breathe together.”
Adele Renault grew up in a musical family on a farm in the Belgian Ardennes. She studied and practiced visual arts, from classical oil painting to modern-day spray can graffiti. In 2010 she graduated from the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Brussels with a degree in Graphic Design.
Renault is fascinated by the inconspicuous beauty of everyday objects and subjects. She observes closely those and that not considered worthy of a second look. Her subjects are pictured as photographed, yet are then isolated from their context, and flooded in light. She captures moments and expressions full of stories and meaning. Suddenly a scruffy pigeon or a woman in the last days of her life emanate a quiet grace and irresistible strength.
Interview with Adele Renault
Interview with owner/founder/curator Justin Giarla
High-resolution images available upon request
Les Clochards Célestes
Opening Reception – Saturday, March 15, 7-11 pm
On View Through April 5, 2014
@ White Walls Project Space (www.whitewallssf.com/project-space)
886 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94109