The first monograph on the artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Paintings features 175 works, selected from among those created by him between 2012 and 2022, grouped according to the places and various studios where he worked during this period, dividing his time between the United States and France: New York, where he maintained a studio for about ten years, Paris, Los Angeles, the Paris suburb of Asnières, and then Paris again.
At the end of 1980s, when painting in general, and figurative work specifically, seemed inadequate to the art world, Delhomme focused on print publications: newspapers, magazines and posters appealed to him as a more lively medium, an active way to take part in society, like a songwriter getting his songs on the radio. “It was also the best medium to have your work reach a wide audience,” says the artist, “or, to borrow a line I once read in the interview of a New York graffiti artist from the 80’s who painted trains: ‘I wanted my name to travel everywhere.’ ”
In the 1990s in New York, he produced a series of gouaches to be used in advertising campaigns for the upscale department store Barneys, with texts by the poet, writer and critic Glenn O’Brien, who moved in the same circles as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Delhomme is himself the author of several books and novels published in France and has been a regular contributor to French and international magazines, writing and illustrating his own columns combining wit and social commentary.
Alongside these pursuits, he has never stopped painting, usually taking landscapes or his friends and family as subjects. In 2009, one of the years he spent in New York, he began concentrating more on painting, eventually devoting himself entirely to the medium in his Bushwick studio, whose surroundings and sweeping views encompassing the Manhattan skyline were an inexhaustible source for subjects day and night. He also had models and friends pose for painted portraits.
In an era when painting is coming into its own again in the art world, especially by way of narrative figuration, Delhomme steers clear of narrative to instead paint the mere presence of beings or objects, devoid of any stylization.