The expressive portraits of Philippe Thélin balance brutality with lyricism, theatricality with introspection, and line with pure color. Thélin describes his process as a struggle between the outline of a drawing and the spread of pigment; for this reason, the very act of painting is inextricably linked with Thélin's artistic style and how he expresses his inner emotions on canvas. The subject of the piece is only of secondary importance, though Thélin does have a talent for infusing his work with a sense of pathos, which draws viewers in and makes them immediately sympathize with the figure depicted.
Thélin lives and works in Montreux, Switzerland, where his day job is researching X-ray crystallography. His paintings won two important international awards this year: the Tiepolo Arte-Milano and the Colosseo-Roma. Thélin explains the purpose of his painting as an exorcism of the ghosts of the past, an investigation of internal conflicts rather than the “reality” of the outside world. Perhaps this is why his pieces are imbued with such a sense of power and vision, akin to a “flash of madness."