Sabine Réthoré 1998-2020?

Drawing the world’s portrait



I used to paint portraits, mainly of my friends, sometimes of myself. I invented roles for them all, turning one into a wrestler, another into a deep-sea diver… Once I was Icarius, later a mermaid. I installed these masks on my canvases, in appropriate scenery, imaginary landscapes suggesting a character, a kind of allegory, or glimpses of interior worlds.


I went on to other portraits, no longer of my neighbours, but of the characters on the cards of the Marseilles game of tarot : laziness, the empress, etc.… I was still painting, but this time along a line, a path of images : from one painting to another I was building the story that I wanted them to tell. Bound together these images turned into books that were meant to be touched and handled as much as looked at.


One day, it was in 1998, I happened to open another book. It was an atlas. On that day I decided that I would draw the portrait of the world. A portrait that would’nt be ruled by the regular lines of conventional cartography, but that would interpret with the strictness of fantasy everything I knew about the earth ; everything that I could discover, that I could invent and also contest. My first portraits were not to be likenesses, but points of view. In the same way my maps and my globes were not to be a literal transfer of the world but an interpretation allowing multiple variations and ever-fresh possibilities.


From the canvas to the book and from the book to the map, I have remained true to my desire that my models and their medium be governed by an outlook that displaces, disturbs, difforms in search of a truer representation.


This particular outlook may soon lead me towards other continents, other shapes, other objects.


It has already allowed me to rebuild the world, to challenge a monolithic vision of the earth, to suggest other versions.


My versions of the world can be discovered on this website.

.© Sabine Réthoré 2012 Le contenu de ce site est soumis à un copyright

© Vincent Cunillère