The viewer is apparently confronted with provocative and unrestrained violence
and with a discordant assault at a refined polished and uniform world.
Blood has been splashed at tortured human shapes.
Bodies have been pulled away and stretched to the point of tearing up.
Muscles and nerves are distended and open up for more extreme gifts of the self
(the legs and even more so the hands are like hungry and blood-thirsty flowers).
It is Love that drags these men and women to either an abyss or to almost mystical bliss.
It is a mysticism of the nerve, of the living flesh
that is expressed in the tiniest cell that lives only to scream.
Each picture, each body, each face, each drop of blood, each demultiplied finger,
each gesture is a scream in various but perfectly identifiable tones.
Richelet is a painter of the absolute, of purity and of successfully achieved intimacy.
We are thus far from the notion of "physical effort "and we are actually so far from it
that try as we may to associate with it, we feel excluded.
We wish we could share with the painter the sentimental side of the characters
that stands beyond their physical representation.
We wish we could go further and further still towards oblivion and immaterial certainty.
Painting is undoubtedly a way to reach them.
The colours are dark and full of provocative humour.
There is black in the background and on the frame,
there is also a colourless and blemish flesh.
The bodies stretch or wither.
The skull of the buffoon or whoever it is, appears everywhere.
But contrary to Caravage, a master he worships,
who guides our eyes to an elderly and pensive Jeronimo,
Richelet confronts us with bone alone,
as if the painter were addresssing us fiercely without any go-between.
Everywhere the brush which is laid on the box or escapes the fingers as well as the sex
tell us that the inability to love and to create are but one thing.
And all of a sudden, the vermillion red of a draped cloth,
whose warmth could have been achieved by an ancient master,
reminds us that one must live after all.
Few sounds, only a very sweet and melancholy melody resounds in his work
which sends us back to the imaginary museum that lies in the unconscious of our senses.
The strength of the muscles springs out of fragmented bodies.
The mirror of the self bursts out and the fragility of the being
wins over the bruised and wailing flesh.
The painting as well as the drawing, the etching, the whole work are iridescent
with the emotion that pours out of the frail construction
onto the rythmical outlines of our own image.
The power of the lines acts as a lever.
It leaves us hanging between death and the very last instant of life
that stems from the brutal tearing away from greedy and frustrated existential hope
and at the same time from the deep pleasure of the self when it recovers its oneness.
Time is thus suspended to the instant of intense emotion.
The bodies are broken in their physical beauty,
the mutilations echo with the destructured space,
the limitless ranges of connotations follow our representations
beyond possible imaginary worlds.
There lies the strange power of Richelet's tearing images.
Henri Richelet inflicts pain onto the body.
He ex-presses it to reveal its organic horror underneath the facade.
He makes the wretched body's guts howl
and its distorted mouth cry out in a voiceless scream.
Twisted fingers are concealing a twitching face.
The vulva is gaping under a pouchy belly.
Only the face is sketchily drawn as though the imperfect curve of a hip
were more telling than the expression of the eyes.
In stark contrast with today's imagery of an eternally young and healthy body,
H.Richelet paints a withering body, a timely body bound to die.
The woman is massaging her breast in a painful gesture
that is neither sensual nor obscene.
Her nape is straightening, she is pulling her tongue out at her own reflection.
The body is edging a gap. It is throwing its foot into the void.
The man hesitates, sclenches his fist,
and then decides that after all, he'll stay a little longer.
Dear friends and censors, do not hide behind the fan of your prudery.
Open your eyes, this body is yours ! When you are not pretending anymore ...