Selected Works

Philippe Pasqua was born in 1965 in France. Pasqua is a Parisian painter of flesh, skulls and butterflies. He is a a self-taught artist that started by drawing skulls and around 1986 became obsessed with the subject and moved to the physical object itself. The idea of life’s brevity and the ephemeral nature of earthly pleasures was conveyed through symbols that included skulls, butterflies, a string of pearls, a blown-out candle or rotting fruit.

Pasqua says his skulls are part of an obsessive, lifelong reflection on birth, death and the transformations that come in between. Despite the death motif, a violent life force emanates from his work. When not decorating skulls, Pasqua has a penchant for portraiture, often painting larger-than-life representations on oversize canvases. Under his brush, subjects like his wife, his sisters-in-law, his friends’ children or his two dogs take on provocative dimensions. Pasqua usually paints from a photograph, but his portraits reveal a depth and fragility absent from his photographic original. Pasqua’s work includes a series on transsexuals aptly entitled “Trauma,” based on graphic photographs of a sex change operation table with the patient strapped in; a series on childbirth, on children with Down syndrome and on prostitutes. A rapprochement with Soutine was made in a 2006 show at the Cheim & Read Gallery in New York, which highlighted the similarities between Soutine’s work and that of about 20 living artists, including Pasqua, Louise Bourgeois and Georg Baselitz.

Philippe Pasqua’s artworks are in many celebrated collections of France and other countries. They are often exhibited in the state and private centers of contemporary art. Pasqua’s two colossa sculptures lhave been recently displayed in the avenue des Champs-Élysées, in Paris, and have partaken in the 53rd Modern Art Biennale of Venice. In the beginning of 2010, a retrospective show of the artist was of great success in the Ahlers Foundation (Hanover, Germany). Pasqua currently lives and works in Paris.