New to the gallery this month is Delphine Lebourgeois’ most recent series entitled ‘Smoke’ featuring a combination of prints and originals. Each work features a lone person seemingly enjoying a relaxed moment with a cigarette.
Each piece conveys a different message. Smoke I is a contemporary setting although the woman is heavily tattooed and wearing modern clothing, she is almost submerged in the water with just the cigarette above the water line. In Smoke II - a more surreal feeling is portrayed, where the woman is almost entirely submerged and could be the last cigarette of a condemned woman.
The original drawing Smoke III is more carefree, with the girls’ hair swishing freely as she relishes her moment in the sun with her cigarette - seemingly without a care in the world and fearless in her rebellious attitude.
Smoke IV sees Botticelli referenced, almost as if he is giving two fingers up to the notion that smoking could ever be a bad thing.
The most surreal piece is Smoke V. Delphine has introduced historical characters and an iconic superhero - with the reclining female smoker wearing a mask made of Artemis - the Goddess of hunting - who has fired an arrow at Superman and taken him down out of the sky.
This theme of shooting down superheroes can also be seen in Delphine Lebourgeois' original drawing Bang! Pop! Boom!
As with all of the work in the Smoke series, there is a sense of freedom and rebellion running through each piece as well as a tranquillity to the characters' moments alone. Whatever each character maybe thinking is up to the viewer to interpret as is common with most of Delphine Lebourgeois’ work.
When asked about the depiction of smoking in the works, Delphine says: “Smoking is an interesting topic nowadays in society, becoming more and more sanitised - we are not far from it turning into the next rebellious thing. For me, it belongs to youth and living the moment.”
The series is available to view. Contact us for further information