Are Men Unicorns?
Tursic & Mille began collaborating in 2000, the start of a new Millennium marked by a near-constant deluge of photographic images and technological, social, and political upheavals that seem to occur at a perpetually accelerating pace. From the very beginning, they have deliberately sought to simultaneously embrace and critically understand what place their primary medium of painting can occupy in such circumstances, wielding it like a weapon to place an ancient and versatile pictorial technology at the forefront of a dynamic practice.
Tursic & Mille have assigned themselves the task of creating artworks that both have staying power and are also “new and interesting,” to paraphrase a long-ago recurring feature in now-defunct French magazine Actuel. They do so in a militant manner, by using in a whimsical, humorous way a medium too often touted as dead, a defiant and radical choice if there is one in today’s Zeitgeist. Moreover, though ambitious, their paintings are never arrogant or condescending. They remain approachable and enjoyable for all. With light touches, Tursic & Mille deflect the apparent magnitude of their aspiration, deftly mixing actual painterly touch-ups with the inclusion of offbeat figures such as the recurring presence of their Border Collie Maximus, who often appears as a small detail within a large-scale painting. Other recurrent images include Bettie Page’s silhouette, flowers, and actual landscapes like Cézanne’s original inspiration, Mont Sainte-Victoire.
- Noëllie Roussel