Secrets d'Artistes

A Gallery in the Heart of the Carré des Arts Offering Mystery and Authenticity


Karls is a painter, born in 1971, in Honfleur (Normandy).

Initially figurative, mainly in the creation of portraits, Karls quickly realized that being a figurative painter implies, at least for him, a form of major obstacle to self-realization. A lack of surprise and unknown. He finds in lyrical abstraction the freedom of expression that suits him.

Named thus by the critic José Marchand and the painter Georges Mathieu in 1947, this new pictorial language frees itself from any reference to the history of art and is defined by a direct expression of the emotional impulse launched on the canvas.

From Maître Mathieu, we know his 10 Franc coin well from it’s usage a daily basis. Karls has this in common with Georges Mathieu: this common ardent desire to offer the public a sensitive and concrete relationship with art. If from a technical point of view, it is certain that not everything has been said, experienced, visited in painting, it is obvious that not everything has been explored in the relationship between this language and the public.

By performing, Karls places the audience in the position of spectator of the work but he also makes them the spectator of the act of creation. During Karls’ performances, the audience tastes, and even participates in the ineffable and intimate act of artistic creation. Far from considering his thinking ego as the original and unique source of creation, Karls integrates the energy of the entity “audience” and places himself at the center of all the forces at play to experience their power on his soul and therefore on the canvas. During a performance, Karls’ works evolve according to the laws of a sort of Theory of Pictorial Chaos: he likes heavily worked backgrounds for their tragic force but also because they carry the seeds of the initial brushstroke of the work itself, which will induce the next one, and so on, the canvas gradually claiming its own, organic, autonomous life.

This great humility towards painting is also reflected in his works formats choice, almost always monumental. Karls “presents himself to the canvas”, in his own words. It is in this arena, where he sometimes fights non-standard canvas formats threatening to devour him, that he finds his true nourishment as an artist.