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The sery "Mon Empereur" is an allegory depicting my own steps to build my two deepest expectations: to live in harmony with the outside world and access the inner sens of achievement.
This work enlights a personal story, a link I woven with a stranger from a crossroad contact that upset me. From humour mixed with tenderness, I learned to know him, or more precisely, to recognize him.
His movements and his features shaped in me those of the Emperor penguin, Aptenodites forsteri, "rare bird on earth”.
His triumphant entry in my life and his sweet conquest of my kingdom created an empire, with its symbols and its myths. I became its architect. In this new empire of love, I celebrated the invader of my land.
This nice peaceful looking bird, why is he called Emperor? Is he only a cruel and bloodthirsty warrior with a debonair figure? Does he deeply hide his violence and his tyranny? I’m fascinated by the mystery of this bird. I wanted to tame all these contradictions and find out their consistency.

“The visible from the invisible”

The plastic vocabulary developed for this sery refers to the style of Russian icon art :
separation of the figures, symbolic perspective, in order the eye can establish an intimate bond with the composition, when becoming its converging point.
I wanted to reinforce the symbolism of my message. The "Emperor" paintings don’t have only external beauty: they are images communicating with the whole person, his heart, his mind and his soul.
Two lights are evoked: the lighting of the material objects and, more importantly, the inner light.
The importance of the verb in the Russian Orthodox tradition - an icon is "written" - made me look for Latin quotations (drawn in the canvas of the painting "Mur reflexion"

The choice of background colors

Because it is very difficult
to separate psychology and symbolic, the colors choice remains essentially subjective
I first endorse this choice by introducing reds. Their warmth and sensuality allow me to amplify the emotional density of the story.
In the Christian, Egyptian, Hebrew and Arabic holly texts, the red is always associated with fire and divine love, it symbolizes the deity and worship. In ancient Rome, it is the generals, the nobility, the patricians and emperors color ... In psychology, the red is linked to the happiness of life, optimism, vigor, fighting and aggressive spirits, sex pulse, desire of love, passion, the conquest appeal...
I also chose the red in reference to several languages in which it means "colored", and again in reference to Russian, where it’s synonymous of“beautiful"

The yellow is bright, cheerful and stimulating. Color of the intellect, it sharpens clarity, concentration and memory.
Symbol of wealth and prosperity, I chose it to attract the eye, because it clears the space ... because it is upbeat and energizing, it evokes the gold and the sun.
In almost all cultures, gold is closely linked to wealth and, therefore, nobility and power.
Color of God (we cannot look at the sun) and immortality, here it is especially that of emperors and kings, who appropriated this color, in Europe, China, India or Egypt as well.

The input of the blue, whether aerial or oceanic, evokes quiet and peaceful vast areas. Cool and relaxing color, blue inspires my creativity.
Color of peace and spirituality, it gives me confidence and a safety feeling, with its soothing virtues. This is my color of secrecy, calling for escape and dream.
In Greece and ancient Rome, the blue, color of the sky, was also the one of main gods Zeus and Jupiter.

Mixed with the green, I make it unstable, suggesting the subversion of the desire, uncertain and ephemeral: it evokes love, hope, youth, or even the game.

Purple is softness, tenderness, romance, sensitivity, dreams ... Image of meditation, I link it to quiet. Born from the opposite red and blue, purple sometimes suggests mystery, richness and delicacy, sometimes malaise, disorder or provocation, like purple and mallow, two other colors of its family.
I want the dual personality of purple, always resulting in so varied reactions, as it is used by the religion for its direct association with the mystery of the Passion of Christ.
I like the history of dyes, the one of purple pigment derived from a mollusk, which in the ancient world, was used to color the most valuable clothes, exclusively restricted for emperors. Only the son of the sovereign "was born in the purple."
In the British Empire, the purple had long been one of the few permitted colors, with gray, black and white, during half-mourning periods.
This may partly explain the fashion reluctance to use it, at least until the mid-nineteenth century. I like to keep it this dismal connotation.

Black is the symbol “par excellence” of elegance and authority. It evokes me dignity, power and threat.
Largely used in ecclesiastical garments, it is the occidental color for mourning and condemnation. Black represents a great challenging way, as stated by Kandinsky :
“Like nothing without opportunity, like a dead nothing after the death of the sun, like an eternal silence, without future, without the least hope of a future, the black resonates inside."
Black is also the ignorance, the obscurantist decline trying to betray the man at every step, which he must overcome to ensure his own metamorphosis.
So Judas, the traitor, appears surrounded by black on its terrible and rare medieval representations. The Romans marked a sad day with a black stone.
In the Graeco-Roman mythology, I find the primordial state of the world, where black refers specifically to nothingness and chaos, before the Creation. Chaos engendered Night who married Ereb: they finally had a son, the Ether.
It was in ancient Egypt that I finally found my positive symbolic of the black, with the verb "kem" from the language of the pharaohs. In this word, black is high, performance, perfection, obligation and duty...

White finally, as counter-color of black and its equal in absolute value. I use it as both absence and sum of colors. It is therefore sometimes starting, sometimes the result of the daily life and of the showed world. This is my “pathway” color.
Vasily Kandinsky again: "The White ... is like the symbol of a world where all colors, as physical properties of material substances, have vanished ... white, on our soul, acts as the silence ... This silence is not dead, it is full of lively possibilities ... it is a nothing full of juvenile joy, or to better say, a nothing before any birth, before any beginning.”
The white mourning is messianic. It shows a lack to be filled, a temporary vacancy. It is the grief of kings and gods that will necessarily be born again : “Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi”! It does correspond to “la cour du pays de France”, today my country, where the mourning was whitely dressed.

Anna Doumler