More than a confirmation, it is a consecration for the contemporary painter who signs his second church in this spring 2022. After having created in 2020, for the first time in France, a 600m² fresco covering the entire vault of the Sainte-Madeleine church in Châtelaillon-Plage, Amaury Dubois renews the feat in the Saint-Pierre church in Calais.
With this second monumental work, Amaury Dubois confirms his status as a renowned artist and, at the same time, his place in the very closed circle of artists who have produced such works, alongside Picasso or Matisse.
If Amaury Dubois was chosen by the parish to decorate its church, it is not by chance.
“Amaury Dubois is well known, he has already worked in a church, and it is the luminous and warm atmosphere that we wanted for our church” confides Father Pierre Poidevin.
In fact, this is not the first time the artist has done this, as he spent two months in the spring of 2020 painting the entire church in Châtelaillon-Plage, near La Rochelle. A fresco that made the rounds of the world’s medias and entered the top 10 of the most beautiful works of street art in the world in the Best of Street Art by the Italian magazine Collateral.
This time, it is Saint-Pierre de Calais, which, 11 hours a day, for 2 weeks, was the playground of the French artist, who was able to give free rein to his imagination.
Making the church lively and welcoming
It was following a survey of the faithfuls that the idea began to germinate in the mind of Father Pierre Poidevin. “We asked our parishioners what their dream church would look like. The answer was clear: a more welcoming church.” In parallel to this survey, the Calais street art festival. The name of Amaury Dubois came naturally: his shimmering colours and generous curves at the entrance of the church would be the right way to invite passers-by to come inside.
A celestial vault, connection between the real and the spiritual
At Saint-Pierre de Calais, Amaury Dubois focused on the narthex: the intermediate space between the forecourt and the nave, the place of transition and passage between the outside and the inside of the church, between the profane and the spiritual worlds.
Playing with the lights, crossing the stained glass windows and the curves of the hall’s architecture, the artist’s coloured and luminous curves take the spectator irresistibly towards the sky, where a meeting point appears. The white light emanating from the church joins the multitude of colours of the outside world and gives a glimpse of a path. At this point, one leaves behind the emotions of everyday life, represented by the colours, and moves towards a pure white light, as an invitation to refocus on oneself. The narthex appears as a door to another, more peaceful state, a welcome break from the madness of everyday life.
Two weeks of intense creation
The creation of this fresco lasted 15 days. The artist, immersed in the heart of his work, painted tirelessly, meticulously, at a rate of 11 hours per day, to translate his vision of the celestial vault through his curves and luminous colours. After a preparatory work of sketches in his studio to create 10 stencils, Amaury Dubois painted the whole fresco by hand before finalising his work with a spray can, creating striking effects of shadows and depth. It took about fifty cans to complete his work. An experience from which the artist has grown: « I always feel so amazed when I see the work take shape under my brushes, after having imagined and refined it in my mind, then on sketches. Painting such frescoes, especially in places as symbolic as churches, is an incomparable experience that I hope to have the chance to relive » concludes Amaury Dubois, as an invitation.
New fresco by Amaury Dubois in Calais, France
Amaury Dubois is a contemporary painter and photographer born in Lille. He finds in oil paint and spray cans the ideal mediums to express his vision of the world and time. Recognizable as an artist by his penetrating curves and luminous colours, he has created his own style, which he calls « courbisme ». Since his beginnings, he has never stopped exploring mediums, escaping boredom and the comfort by multiplying universes with the help of his curve… His lifeline between the reality of the surface and the depths of the imagination.
Hailed by the international press as an artist always on the move, he exhibits alongside Modigliani, Warhol and Banksy in a Belgian Foundation: La Maison d’Alexandre.
Take a look below fro more photos of Sainte-Madeleine church.