Michel Comte (b. 1954) is a highly polyvalent artist who has been working across a variety of genres and media throughout his life. Starting as a conservator specializing in the restoration of Andy Warhol and Yves Klein paintings, Comte soon became a world-renowned photographer, photographing for high-end fashion magazines and blue-chip brands since the 1970s. As a photographer, Comte pursued various projects of social urgency, such as the documentation of conflicts in war-torncountries like Bosnia, Rwanda, and Iraq. In 2009 he officially withdrew from fashion photography and devoted himself to the creation of artworks.
His Neoclassicism works were executed in Rome and the Vatican and focus on empires that were built and crumbled. “The Coronation” and the “Torso of David“ are an example of such. The style of neoclassicism remains even today in fashion and design as you can see in the work capturing the Life Ball in Vienna or the reenactment of a still life such as a Caravaggio painting. Social distancing has become the new norm and our entire perspective towards gathering, meeting and closeness have taken on different meanings. Suddenly, images of crowds look unfamiliar. The dots are drifting apart.
“Sakura” is a new work group, which is now shown for the very first time. This flower only blooms for a brief time and it symbolizes our limited existence. Japan has a deeply rooted tradition to celebrate the cherry blossom and its beauty diffuses through the entire atmosphere. Michel Comte aims to preserve the delicate beauty of momentary encounter.
The exhibition also presents Michel Comte`s very first NFT works, which were dropped mid-May 2022. The so called "Japan Series" is a continuation to his cinematic film "The Girl from Nagasaki”, a melodramatic tale of love and despair, as a re-adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, which he directed and co-produced together with his wife Ayako Yoshida.
“It is almost a natural evolution. (...) When the NFT started I think it was an extremely great democratization of art and I think art should be democratic, it should be for everybody. (...) The NFT will put some order into the system, it will regulate the market in an intelligent way.”
— Michel Comte
Curator: Christina Scheublein