Jean Jullien: PETRICHOR

Posted by Fabio 22 November 2019

The first definition of the word PETRICHOR found on the Internet is «characteristic odour that accompanies rain and emanates from the earth, especially after a period of dry, warm weather.» This olfactory term calls for the memory of our senses, long walks with boots in the open air, the wet smell of pines, the sea … The title of the exhibition judiciously points to the state of contemplation sought by Jean Jullien in his paintings. He composes mental images stripped of superfluous details to signify to our brain «contentment», «nature», escape. They trigger a Pavlovian reflex of pleasure that only a hypocrite could deny. Jean Jullien is a post-modern artist who addresses the emotions of the viewer rather than his place on the art scene.

His Instagram posts have built his aesthetic language and reach one million followers today. This atypical artistic career positions him de facto among the leading pioneers of the influencers. Without wanting to, his work is disruptive in the field of art at the level of communication, commercial and artistic.

On this point, a quick overview of the most shared creations on social networks (Kaws, Joan Cornella …) seems to lay the foundations of a universal aesthetic canon that combines empathy, colourful and refined aesthetics with poetry tinted with humour. In short, the anti-thesis of the romantic artist who carries the weight of the History on his shoulders. The paradox with Jean Jullien is that his paintings are beautiful and at the same time subversive for the economy of contemporary art.

An apparent contradiction only because it is all the stake of the art called «contemporary» than to express itself in the language and with the means of its time. In other words, the exhibition ‘Petrichor’, like the little madeleine of Proust in his time, is an invitation to poetic escape through the door of memories._Raphael Cruyt

Jean Jullien
Alice Gallery, Brussels
14 November 2019 – 11 January 2020