"Venus": 15/11/18 > 22/12/18, Galerie Taglialatella, 117 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris (Fr).

In 1800, an artwork is exhibited at the Salon of paintings and sculptures under the no 238, with the title « Portrait d’une négresse». This oil on canvas is a portrait of a young black woman made by the French painter Marie-Guillemine Benoist, and embodies, at the time, a celebration of Slavery. By presenting that portrait at the Salon of 1800, Marie-Guillemine Benoist demonstrate not only her talent but also her ability to transcend conventions because of a non-existent place attributed to women artists in 1800. Besides the daring of the artist, this artwork itself gives rise an exceptional resonance. In fact, classical portrait ‘s conventions are here applied to a black woman, in the traditionally devoted manner to women of socially elevated classes. Benoist abolishes, in that way, traditional distinctions, both societal and pictorial. Symbolism especially since that slavery was abolished in France in 1794. Black woman, creature offered to the eyes, the young icon questions the great principles that shake the society at this moment: freedom, equality of the sexes and "races", fraternity. In 1802, slavery will be restored; this artwork is then interpreted as a call to freedom. The symbolic strength of this work and the decisive moment it represents embody for Kouka all the feminine creative power that tends towards universality. Therefore, in his quest about the memory of civilizations animated by a powerful will to embody the Essence of humanity, the artist wishes for the exhibition to honour the Muses. To the inspiring power of these icons which have been able - at a historical moment - to upset the world, to divert the codes, to change the representations, to move, to sensitize, to show the road towards the beautiful and the universal. In the Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love, seduction, women beauty and civilization … It's all Kouka's ambition and talent that are played in this exhibition where express themselves singular muses, original and universal...
Nadège Buffe, Founder and Director of Taglialatella Gallery

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