Behind mysteriously closed-doors, a sharp observer of the world, the wizard Jean-Luc Verna smears the world with the colors of love and time.Draftsman, teacher, dancer, choreographer, singer, performer and poet, he offers us a voluptuous immersion in the intimacy of the artist, exposing a star of XXI century art.
First there's this sublimely written – and spoken – text that hits you in the guts, that, straightaway, resonates in you and haunts you, speaks to your past, to your heart, to your body, insinuates itself in your veins and lodges itself in your very soul.
There's also this grandiose, inventive mise en scène, these magnificently framed shots, these superb lighting effects and this scenography, this voice, this truth of tone, this breath-taking dramaturgy tinged with black poetry, a black so beautiful to approach. And then above all there's Jean-Luc Verna who destroys everything in his path, who makes everything tiny by comparison. Verna is an ogre, a giant, a living legend of a fascinating beauty that didn’t exist before him.
"When we collided. When love crashed down like a promised curse. Deep down, I ought to thank you. I used to live like an ageless thing. Since you left me, I've become what I am, a 50-year-old man."
Amaury Voslion's motion picture about, with and around Verna comes close to that rarely achieved artistic perfection. There's an absolute coherence of purpose, subject, narrative, content, form and performance, to say nothing of the aesthetics that border on a form of absolute genius.
With or without artifice, this iconic face, in make-up or tattooed, takes up all the space, has an admirable strength, becomes part of a history of art and a body of memory never to leave it again.
I can't imagine Verna one day dying without us having properly celebrated the importance of his persona, of his output, of reality in the parallel universe that is contemporary art.
Everything about Verna is art, his body, his skin, his look, his talent, his madness, his gentleness, his strangeness, his uniqueness, his painting, his performances, his voice, his life choices, his traumas, his joys, his provocations, his blunders, his ego, his excesses, his fears and his audacity.
This admirable film is a masterpiece, it consecrates a living work of art, more alive than any one of us. We replay certain passages of this film in loops.
We're gobsmacked, we're filled with emotion, we're enhanced, we're hypnotized, we are the denigrators of a fabulous spectacle.
Verna is our worst nightmare and our most marvellous dream of art. Constantly on the razor's edge, he disturbs, then fascinates, then disturbs again only to leave us fascinated.
Multidisciplinary artist, he lives and works in Paris.
He is represented by the Air de Paris gallery.