Pierre-Olivier Arnaud was born in 1972. He lives and works in Lyon.
His work is based on the image, that is to say the image as a motif but which tends to disappear. He questions the status that the images he collects can have, a status that is relatively blurry because of the very precariousness of these motifs and their identity. Perhaps this is why the artist does not define himself as a photographer, who takes an image for what it is and gives it to be seen in an immediate and literal way. On the contrary, it is with the invisible, fragile qualities of images, in their non-obviousness and in the representations and interpretations they can give rise to, that Pierre-Olivier Arnaud works with. Moving away from a concrete look at the image, he produces a multitude of often abstract motifs, almost always in black and white, blurring our established vision and “de-sublimating” the visible. The image thus dissolves “at first reducing the motif to bring us, in the next stage, to get closer to it and look at it in detail”*. The artist’s works are a somewhat dark, direct and honest vision of the world: inviting us to look at things differently, going beyond the evidence of glossy aesthetics and penetrating the identity itself of an image.
His work is featured in the following public collections: CNAP, Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris/FR; Fond National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; MAMCO, Geneva; Fonds Cantonal de Décoration et d’Art Visuel, Geneva; Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Paris; FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-Lès-Rouen.
Recent solo shows: Éléments, home alonE, Clermont-Ferrand (2022), Premiers Matériaux, Galerie Skopia, Geneva (2018); A Long Distance Call, Optica, Montréal/CA (2012); Lumières du jour, MAMCO, Genève/CH (2009); Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble/FR (2005).
*See the exhibition: Biens Communs III, Mamco, Geneva, cycle l’Éternel Détour, 2013