"there's no through trail" —Han-Shan, translated by Gary Snyder

Ivan de Monbrison

Issue: Spring 2016

Artist’s Statement

For me, art is the only answer in our modern world to the question of death and the fragility of human nature. Throughout the ages, humans have used the representation of the world as a medium to conjure what they saw as powerful elements in nature, things they could not explain and which often threatened them. I think this process is still at the core of visual art, to represent ourselves, to mirror ourselves. In a world of technology, to choose to use a very classical medium like painting is a way to set a bridge with the past, resisting the facility of technology but with the will to represent the world with a modern eye. That is why I choose to paint mostly in black and white and to represent human beings more as shadows than as fleshy bodies. They are incarnated in the canvas but not yet fully present. Lately, many of my paintings represent an obsessive vision I have of the bay of Marseille, a very large bay, with mountains falling right off from the South into the Mediterranean Sea. In this vision, a man is walking alone on a path, and there is always an animal with him.


Two characters in a landscape.

Two characters in a landscape.

Ma pensée soutenue par la vie et la mort.

Ma pensée soutenue par la vie et la mort.

Portrait de Jackson Pollock

Portrait de Jackson Pollock

Paysage au chien version finale

Paysage au chien version finale

Scenery2

Scenery2

Scène urbaine

Scène urbaine


Ivan De Monbrison

Ivan de Monbrison is a French artist and poet born in 1969 in Paris. He currently lives between Paris and Marseille. His works have been shown in Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, and New York, and have been published globally. His poem-novel, Les Maldormants, illustrated by him, was published in 2014 by Ressouvenances Publishers in France.