Cali Berthet
Texts and Artworks

Cali Berthet trained as a scenographer at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Parallel to her plastic research, Cali Berthet has been a painter in film, theatre and advertising sets for twenty years. This experience enriches her and feeds her painting and vice versa without influencing her intuition and artistic remarks. All of her paintings find their coherence in a pictorial expression that seeks to provoke a sensual experience through a realistic painting. Cali Berthet prepares and stretches her canvases herself. It starts on a vibrating base made of a mixture of white Meudon and glycerol varnish tinted with a little bitumen on which it then applies oil glazes and "rises to the light".

My work draws its inspiration from the contemplation of a river in Franche Comté. There is a poetry, a language specific to water, sometimes sparkling and lively, sometimes stagnant, strange and mysterious. It invites introspection and questioning. She talks about the inevitable passage of time. It fascinates with its distorting reflections, bottomless mirrors.

The hand immersed in the water comes off, disappears. To immerse oneself is to float in limbo, to pass from one world to another. I will quote Gaston Bachelard in "water and dreams": - The being dedicated to water and a being of vertigo. He dies every minute, something of his substance is constantly flowing.

Children bathe in groups, heckle the surface, dissolve the anxiety of the depths. Only the most reckless go far away and risk the aspiration of the "mystery below". I seek to express these feelings as so many artists, poets and writers have done and will do again.

A distraught muse inhabits my countries of water. A wild woman, free and kicked, she questions her universe. Sometimes serene and contemplative, sometimes worried and tormented, she perceives the disorders of the world. She is a cousin of the third woman Gilles Lipovetsky is talking about. She has traveled down the river from her reptésentations in art history, has come out of it and enjoys it.

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