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Ayrton Eblé

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Engarde, September 2021

In his studio, hidden in a garage boxes complex in the densely populated artist neighbourhood of Antwerp’s Borgerhout district, Ayrton fabricates intricate ‘construction paintings’. Ayrton himself designates them as ‘construction paintings’ because the materials he applies are borrowed from the world of construction and building: marking paint, cement glue, concrete paint. But in a paradoxical and fascinating way he handles them with care. These brutalist materials are applied very carefully through painting them on meticulously found and chosen surfaces. He paints, rubs and sands like a craftsman of oilpaint - usually called a ‘painter’- would explore the effects of applied paint.

Indeed, in Ayrton’s painting practice you do not see what you think you see. At first sight the construction paintings look randomly abstract, distorted, filthy and coincidentally painted - like Pollock would randomly walk wit his dripping paint cans - but a trained viewer notices the subtle tosses and turns of a deliberating and creative brain. Yes, he is an abstract painter and okay, the paintings are wild but seldom have I noticed a more thorough preparation and thoughtful execution with these brutalist materials.

Ayrton is a restless urban street roamer. He walks, he observes and photographs. The unmistakably ugly urban transformations of building sites, construction works and traffic situations fire his practice. His photographs can be regarded as a manual to grasp the complexity of his construction paintings.

The versatile and investigative painter Ayrton Eblé observes the spontaneous degrading of accidental and intentional marks, tracks and traces in public urban space and tries to imitate and simulate these hitherto unnoticed processes: he turns the faded paint of street crossings and road markings into universal abstract paintings. Personal observations of the Belgian street landscape become a testimony of transformations of a menacing, fast and unleashed world.

Text by Siegfried Beyers en Ash Bowland

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