The UnderRealism Group, photos

Photo: Satoshi Saikusa

Under-realism is primarily about painting and figurativeness. It stands against the taste of today in contemporary art, which is characterized by polished, almost industrial looks. It is anti-decorative and is committed to the right to approximate and poorly performed over productions that tend to be more design than art.

Also, it advocates the technique, virtuosity and yearning towards masterpieces. Under-realism is minimal in terms of resources and maximal in terms of expression. Under-realism does not suffer from tepidness. It is characterized by a strong visual impression, which may cause strong, even violent emotions. It is what it is. It leaves no one indifferent. Today, under-realism is a generational phenomenon created by thirty and forty-year-old artists who practice different disciplines, have been active for years now, and as the only thing in common have the desire to give new forms to their inner visions. Under-realism tolerates neither iconographic nor formal taboos; it is not subject to any ideology. It defends nothing but artistic creative freedoms of expression.

In the field of contemporary art, under-realism is the evil weed which cannot be eradicated even by the most powerful pesticide; it is absolutely essential to its ecosystem in order to quench the audience’s thirst for images. It is, at the same time, classic, modern and contemporary. More than one in a series of trends, it is primarily a way in which one can live the life of an artist. Therefore, it will never be placed in time.




Under the Skin 17, 2015, oil on panel, 200 x 160 cm

Courtesy of the artist

“Today, anyone planning to embark on a career as a painter needs to begin by realising the difficulty of the task that lies ahead. He must know that, because of a history going back several thousand years, painting makes special demands: because everything seems to have been already invented, it is hard to make a lasting mark in its already overcrowded annals.

From this point of view, the work of Gaël Davrinche maintains a curious analogy with the way in which an individual constructs his life: from childhood to adulthood, via the fragile phase of adolescence, his painting has grown, gaining in maturity over time in a constant dialogue between the history of art and his own history.”

Gaël Davrinche is a French painter born in 1971. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts (Paris) in 2000. His career started with a famous series named Les Revisités. Since then he has never stopped exhibiting his work, becoming a reference in figurative painting in France and all over the world.

His new series Under the Skin started in 2015. Beyond physical and social appearances, it reveals the psychologies, moods and shapes of unconscious personalities.




Black Dress, 2015, oil on canvas, 195 x 130 cm

Author of photography: Lili Tao

Lives and works in Paris. He has been teaching since 2007 at the ESAD-GV (art school of fine arts in Grenoble, France). He studied at ENSBA in Paris. His painting, as a student, was abstract. But for love letters, he made hundreds of erotic watercolours which are the starting point of his current work. The work of Frédéric Léglise is full of girls. His portraits and nudes, almost all obey the same minimum script. The painter first takes photographs of women he meets in his entourage, and then he paints portraits of them. Another part of his work consists of self-portraits, made from his shadow. Some of these self-portraits were the subject of a solo exhibition in Milan in 2011. His occasional use of gold leaf paint enabled his participation in the great exhibition “Gold” at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna in 2012. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in France and abroad in institutions and galleries as well as artfairs like FIAC and ART BASEL. His work is present in many public collections (Frissiras Museum, Athens, MMSU in Rijeka, La Maison Rouge, Paris ...).




Saint Sebastian, 2004, oil on canvas, 195 x 130 cm

Courtesy of the artist

French artist of Serbian origin, born in Paris in 1972.

The grandson of an orthodox priest, he was nurtured by the specters of religious warfare, Christian dogma, and the burdens of martyrdom. Immersed in the narratives of the gospels, he populates them with his own heroes. In each of his canvasses he invites us to consider the battle between forgiveness and guilt, sin and grace, linking these ancient stories to the exaggerated and stylized violence of modern cinema and graphic novels.

Currently represented by galleries in France, Belgium, Germany and China. Kosta has shown his work in Europe, Asia and United States of America. 2015 : Museum of the School of Design & Art of Grenoble, Contemporary Art Centre of Perpignan and Contemporary Centre of Epinal, France 2014 : Exhibition Contemporary Art Exhibition of Central and Eastern Europe - Ningbo Museum of Art, China - Acquisition of one canvas by the Ningbo Museum of Art. 2011 : Ankara Contemporary Museum, Turkey, Bishop Museum of Honolulu, Istanbul Biennale and The Comics Museum, Angoulème France. 2007 : Book /Monograph Ma religion 2006 : Nuit blanche (White Night Art Festival of Paris)

Since 2005 he has been a painting and drawing instructor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieur d’ Architecture Paris-Val de Seine, Paris. From 2011 to 2013 he worked as a painting and drawing instructor at the University of Orsay, Paris Sud XI.




Deposition, 2011, oil on canvas, mixed media, 200 x 200 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Born in 1970. He appeared on the Parisian scene in 2001 with the Arabitudes exhibition. From then on his work were presented at Urgent Painting, an exhibition by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Suzanne Pagé at the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (2002), My Favourite Things at the MAC in Lyon (2005), Chemin de Peinture at the MAMAC (2009), at the Salomon Foundation (2009), at La Passion at Carré-Sainte Anne in Montpellier (2010), at the Lieu Unique in Nantes in 2012 (La Belle Peinture Est Derrière Nous), at the Maeght Foundation in 2013 (e-motion). In 2014, he had a solo exhibition at the Arab Spring at MAMAC in Nice, which was expanded and repeated in 2015 at the IMA in Paris.

He is now considered one of the main artists of the French scene. His work is found in public collections (Fnac, Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, Strasbourg and Nice Museums, Frac Ile-de-France city of Toulouse), in private collections as well as abroad. Publishing house The "Différence" Publishing House has published his monograph. In France he is represented by the Vallois Gallery.



L'indécise, 2014, ulje na platnu, 100 x 81 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. She works and resides in Paris. A graduate from the Beaux-Arts of Paris, she also completed a research Master in Visual Arts from the Université Paris 1. She has enjoyed numerous exhibitions in France and abroad: Paris, Épinal, Perpignan, Lyon, Montluçon, Brussels, Neuchâtel, Berlin, Hannover, Athens, Belgrade, Vilnius, Istanbul, Dubai, Tehran, New York, and Los Angeles. Her work is part of public and private collections such as the Frissiras Museum (Athens), the Ramin Salsali Private Museum (Dubai), the Michael Schultz Collection (Berlin) or the Leila Heller Collection (New York).

Upon discovering Nazanin Pouyandeh’s paintings, we are confronted with an enigmatic form of narrative figuration that constantly raises questions. The viewer is instantly immersed inside the image – the imagery even (a smooth rendering and a myriad details) – with a clear sense of dramatisation, and yet the mystery and a continuing doubt remain. The singularity of her paintings emerges from this very sense of the elusive; in the manner of our dreams that bring opposites together, this enigmatic approach produces open-ended scenes giving free rein to our imagination and our own phantasmagorical projections. Pouyandeh’s “petrified temporalities” or “freeze-frame” paintings allow viewers to initiate an investigation, immersing themselves in an extremely diverse pictorial repository (ancient painting, primary arts, but also comics, photography, film, television, video games, and the Internet) that gives her painting their extremely vivid dimension.




Weightloss, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 285 × 195 cm

Courtesyof the artist

Born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1965. Lives and works in Paris. Graduated from École d’Architecture, Paris. The work of Serbian/French artist Vuk Vidor centres on a double sided fascination with the absence of historical conscience in the modern world. This is an absence that leads to strange reinventions of dead mythology. With his double background in both Eastern Serbia and Western France, Vuk Vidor’s work puts its finger on many of the tensions in the European civilization – both here in Europe and America. The modern, expressed in Vuk Vidor’s classic pop art style, contrasted with the weight of history, is expressed in the monumental baroque compositions of the works. His latest project “Newton” brings “The Man who fell to Earth” back to life continuing the story and extending it in a large body of works.



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