”Marsyas”

charcoal pencil, white chalk, 22x18cm

Marsyas is seized just as, his arms bound behind his back, he awaits his ordeal. His sculptural body, inspired from Belvedere Torso, stretches both the antique statue and Michelangelo’s invention of Mannerism to nowadays, thanks to the incredible spinning motion of the top part, included the fleeing line which determines the mute face. A very few stains of red, together with horizontal stripes which bar the top of the thighs, are enough to suggest the horror of what is going to happen, as this drawing is everything but expressionist. Both impressive because of the mass of marble the body seems to be made of, and elusive as it escapes any demonstration, it contrasts singularly with the most famous representations of Marsyas (Titian’s one, for example, and we can think of course of Michelangelo portraying himself as St. Barthelemy in ”The Last Judgment’’). This drawing marks the passage from the acoustic envelop (the word, the music) to the tactile one (the skin). It heightens, via the myth of Marsyas, the fact that being oneself means owning one’s own skin, like a space where set up one’s own feelings. But the artist here goes further. From the Greek theme, the reference to an ancient sculpture, he composes here his own musical repertoire, the tight basses of the lower part of the body giving way to the evocative flute sound at the top, where the satyr seems to empty himself, line, only defined by mastered but parsimonious pencil strokes, leaving the surface of the torso almost blank, while Marsyas turns his head away. However, the figure is a striking whole, as only one line determines the contour of the silhouette, thought and restituted in all the complex meanings the myth brings, to offer to our current world and the contemporary viewers so many questions.

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