It is through a love of contemporary art that Paul Yves Poumay finds spontaneity through human expression. Francesca Vine catches up with Paul to find out more…

Paul-Yves Poumay is a self-taught artist with a focus on primitivism and neo-expressionism. 

He has been involved in a number of important international group shows, written short essays for various prestigious publications, has been involved in several artist residences in Italy, and most recently had a solo exhibition at Alemi Art Gallery (Leόn, Spain) last year. His background in finance has led him to concentrate on “capitalism paradoxes” including “speculative economy, environment challenges, migration and [the] international financial system”. Here, the artist chats with The Mackayan about abstraction in his work, how different mediums convey expression and how art can help up navigate the confused ‘passage area’ the world is currently in – hopefully leading us to a brighter future!

On abstraction and expression:

‘My works in general and my sculptures in particular are born from a marriage between a feeling, an intuition, the material and a spontaneous technique which allows me great freedom. I’m an abstract artist.  With sculpture, I am naturally able to achieve figuration, which does not interest me, whereas I am totally incapable of this in painting. I always look for a perfectly raw expression, an original representation of the subject to be treated. This is probably a more universal symbolism than the figurative, which seems to me more linked to an era, a history or even to the location of an artist.’

On medium and meaning:

‘Art doesn’t have to be beautiful to be appreciated, it has to be universal. The notion of beauty is also very subjective and partially linked to temporary fashions. The mediums I use allow me to translate deep messages and I like the principle of a total lack of academicism in my artistic approach. If my work is often simple, it is always instinctive, without any formalism. My works aim to express a feeling, as powerful as possible, drawn from the deep resources of my imagination and linked to the evolution of living things.’ @pypoumay

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By Francesca Vine: Arts Columnist.

“Art doesn’t have to be beautiful to be appreciated, it has to be universal.”

On the artist’s theory that the world is living in a “passage area”, leading into an era of radical change:

‘I think that human history is perpetually leading man towards what he calls radical changes … which are ultimately only a rough translation of the temporality of the experience of life. Humanity has always been made up of a form of general dissatisfaction … whether it is with the past, the future or with death. Life is a permanent change that only death interrupts. Man spends his life in the company of death, which tears him apart and taunts him.’

On how art can help us navigate this period of confused freefall between a broken system and a more sustainable and utopian future:

‘If, today, information and its anthology of “fake news” circulate faster and more violently than covid-19, I nevertheless have the feeling that the overall feeling seems similar to what has always prevailed: dissatisfaction. On the other hand, the demographic explosion coupled with the reckless exploitation of resources will no longer allow a sustainable and balanced terrestrial life for all if a binding global reflection is not carried out on a global scale. For me, art is defined as the universal symbol connecting people in time and space. Art concentrates physical, spatio-temporal and ideological aspects of life. These elements allow dialogue and introspection, essential notions for reflection and evolution. Art and its universal foundations are ineluctably a key to success in transcending human behavior.’


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