Julien Rey says it himself: he trained “self-taught, integrating and taking inspiration from various cultures, through [his] discoveries”. A great traveller, the French artist developed work that was heavily influenced by Asian culture. Marked by the zen philosophy and with a desire for refinement and simplicity, he produces minimal compositions that appear like suspended moments, poetic breaks in the middle of the surrounding disorder.
His unique and individual technique using varnish worked with a knife and gold leaf inlays put light at the heart of his works, playing with areas of shadow and brightness, slivers of black and gold. His representations of urban landscapes thus confront obscurity and light in contrasted compositions with impressionist atmospheres. Using himself the expressions of “fugitive rays” or “twilight flashes”, Julien Rey attempts to grasp these moments of change between day and night where light becomes divine and emotions intense.
Trying to inspire, feel and self-reflect, the artist is not looking for a true re-transcription of what he sees, but on the contrary wishes to capture and materialise with games of shadows and light the “aesthetic link between finesse and rigour, movement and perspective, emptiness and fullness.” In the end, it constitutes the heart of reality but distances itself from it the most.