About Yassine Mekhnache
Born in 1979 in Lyon. Lives and works in Paris.
If I had to evoke YAZE work in only one word, I would, abruptly, use ‘Tear ‘. I am not sure it is the most appropriate to give an account of an already impressive and growing work. But this is what comes immediately to my mind, in front of these huge portraits, all together laid out and destroyed, built and struck out, subjacent and enriched with scars, but always present, obsessive, in their original vigor. They have double appearance, as if their sense could only be expressed by adding two contradictory and at the time complementary elements.
Two elements: a drawing (a plan), and an existence.
Lightning of the blood-like red, fre glares of the orange, earthly evidence of the ochre, pearly whites that come to superimpose on the precise black lines. Sometimes the writings, in their magic, add up a discrete and appropriate note. Mysterious too. One can feel in this torrent of creation a violence that was previously expurgated by the artist on the fronts, vertical and free spaces of the cities, on the leprous parking and blackened station walls. Graffiti, tags, have been Yassine ‘YAZE’ Mekhnache frst writing exercises. As for Jean-Michel Basquiat when he started in Soho streets the cruel and bewitching Samo saga, before Andy Warhol gave him the taste for cloth painting. In certain ways, while reading his impressive paintings, I place YAZE in what is for me the family of immense artists like CY Twombly -where what is unspoken, suggested, creates poetry, Georg Baselitz -whose power knocks down all norms, Yan Pei-Ming -who translates the savagery of the World… there could be worse company.
YAZE has sublimated his rough learning of street art. He masters his pulsions by canalizing them on the huge white pages of his frames. But art is born out of constraint, ensured André Gide. And in his self-imposed constraints, YAZE thrills his own personal fury. This is what matters to us. What does it unveil? What does it hide? What does it tell us? About him, about the world we are living in? The painter does not need words to convince us of his passion for the world. To suggest what he feels, what he suffers, what he loves. At 26, through his painting, his defensive weapon and his language, YAZE imposes his truth upon us. It is truly moving.
“A text by art critic Jacques Bouzerand, 2006”