A canvas. A painting. A self-portrait of the artist maybe?

« Maquillage has no need to hide itself or to shrink from being suspected; on the contrary, let it display itself, at least if it does so with frankness and honesty.” Charles Baudelaire

A canvas. A painting. A self-portrait of the artist maybe? A languid woman, her eyes closed, naked and lying, her left leg folded up against her chest. The whole thing in shades of grey, blue, mauve and ocher. Painted from under, the figure seems to emerge and dissolve at the same time. It seems to float in the middle of the canvas: framing and colors confirm this indecisiveness. We witness the emergence of a form as well as its possible disappearance. The painting both absorbs and reveals the image. The seemingly unfinished touch is ingeniously accentuated by an accumulation of colors on the bare left shoulder. There, Paz Corona has laid the elusive pictorial elements she uses to give life to her silhouette. It is clearly the painter’s palette, which has been fully integrated to the general composition. Paz Corona lets us see her pictorial process in progress. And she does so without ostentation, but instead, with a delicacy that flirts with invisibility. If her palette can go unnoticed, there is one detail, which, once seen, cannot be unseen: the red nail polish on the model’s right hand and left foot. The brightness of this nail polish stands in stark contrast with the gloominess of the whole composition. This polish disrupts the whole monochromatic harmony of the painting. It is the punctum of this representation, if we refer to a photographic notion elaborated by Barthes in photography to characterize what punctuates a photograph, what punches us in the eye. There is something gently insolent in the tenuous yet persisting presence of this red nail polish, which reminds us that painting is also a “cosmetics”, and as such, can be considered a dangerous supplement. Here, Paz Corona discreetly emphasizes what Plato saw as a scandal and a threat to the essentialist conception of the truth. This polish that punctuates the painting is for sure the delicate yet evident sign of a woman-aspiring art, which, regardless of the artist’s gender, looms over the whole question of painting.

Bernard Marcadé