The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze
La diversité des tactiques
Series: Hold your own
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Karl Heinrich Veith
190 x 145 cm
Whether on canvas, as an installation or mural, large format to miniature, in collaborations or participatory projects—Rouge Hartley is open to challenges and experimentation. In everything, however, painting remains the focus. And though lacking a background in street art or graffiti, Hartley has been drawn to urban art. In wall painting in the public sphere and the corresponding, parallel artistic world, she found something that she found absent both during her time at art school and in the conventional contemporary art scene: acceptance and appreciation of traditional figurative painting. The inspiration behind her piece La diversité des tactiques was found near her hometown of Bordeaux, at Arcachon Bay. In Hartley's case, however, the affluent and touristy area seems to have triggered discomfort. The person depicted clings tensely to the brightly colored, inflatable rubber swimming rings, which should actually be associated with feelings of rest and relaxation. Is she in danger of drowning? Perhaps, more metaphorically, from a "kind of geopolitical and late-capitalist fear," as Hartley herself describes it, than from the Atlantic tides? As is typical of the artist's work, the emotions evoked here permit a variety of narrative possibilities.