Dujardin's work is reminiscent of meditative mandalas taking the viewer to a journey in the heart of the forest, in ancient times of creation, in his or her own body and mind. His elaborate drawing technique stands somewhere between scientific illustrations utilized for taxonomy by natural history museums, and Renaissance character portraits in chiaro-scuro.
About the Artist
"The Quest" and "Reflex" exhibitions curator İpek Yeğinsü comments about Alexandre Dujardin’s work: "Aenima series are composed of patterns and textures borrowed from nature; images of flowers, insects, animals and humans are interwoven to create a cosmic balance, an ecosystem of interdependence, a tribute to universal harmony. They are reminiscent of meditative mandalas taking the viewer to a journey in the heart of the forest, in ancient times of creation, in his or her own body and mind. Dujardin’s elaborate drawing technique stands somewhere between scientific illustrations utilized for taxonomy by natural history museums, and Renaissance character portraits in chiaro-scuro. The brain, the heart and the butterfly are at the center of the composition. The two organs are the principal control centers of the human body and its most primitive reflexes; the brain controls breath and the heartbeat, and the heart keeps the brain alive by feeding it with oxygene. There is thus a symbiotic relationship between them, a duo without which the entire system would collapse. Interestingly, they are often used to symbolize opposing concepts. While the brain is a metaphor for cold rationality devoid of feelings, the heart is the symbol of the soul and the emotions working against the rational mind. In Dujardin’s works these counterbalancing forces are combined to sustain the entire ecosystem, endowing it with both its soul and its mind. The butterfly, on the other hand, refers to a continuous cycle; its short but significant life is filled with stages of radical transformation, parallel with our own path. How we employ our mind and soul in coping with our own transformation is probably the most important question of our existence."
Alexandre Dujardin's other series composed of five images Let Me Tell You a Story, Don’t Be Sad Little Girl, Reflection, Toad and Water Lilly, Wings for Sonia is related to the short story "The Adventures of Sonia Ploum". The story that comes into the artist's mind after some drawings created unpurposefully, allows the series to eventually reach completion. Dujardin then asks his author friend Coco Delesalle to put the story into words and they would work together on its final version. Our heroine is a little girl named Sonia Ploum, who feels lonely, taking a promenade with a balloon in her hand. Seeing her saddened by the absence of someone to tell her she is loved, first a wolf comes to her rescue and she rides him. Meanwhile Sonia's balloon suddenly escapes and although she is saddened again, all the characters she encounters throughout her adventure respectively console and encourage her; they tell her to persist in her journey and that she will surely find her balloon. The text has no real finale; the story ends in Dujardin's mind with images without words; the little girl flies away with a little boy on a butterfly's back and they spread colours onto the landscapes they fly upon. It is sensed that Sonia's journey to find her balloon takes her to a different place where she matures and her loneliness comes to an end. At this point, Sonia no longer needs the balloon. Thus Dujardin's childlike but melancholic imagery carries the viewer away and perfectly overlaps with the concept of "the quest", the gallery's first exhibition's conceptual backbone."
Drawing has been key throughout Dujardin's practice, often as a signifier of larger ideas. Alexandre Dujardin has graduated from Ecole des Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg in 2009 and has exhibited his work in many solo and group exhibitions in Germany, France and Italy.He has participated to Galeri MCRD's The Quest, Reflex and Epiphany exhibitions as well as the gallery's group exhibition at Contemporary Istanbul 2014.