ROSSOCINABRO | available works | Stéphane Martineau | Germany


  Stéphane Martineau

           Berlin, Germany


Egoportrait #20

acrylic on canvas

100 x 70 cm

Egoportrait #19

acrylic on canvas

100 x 70 cm



I paint impermanence by representing the decrepitude of the material, the support, and the subject.

This decay is expressed by the texture treated in trompe l'oeil, sometimes, integrated flat onto the support, sometimes, treated according to the volume of the subject in playful jousting of juxtapositions between the representation of reality and reality itself.

The idea of this “Égoportraits” series came to me throughout observing the selfie phenomenon spread in social media and throughout my reading about the origins of the internet which was a system designed to survive a nuclear holocaust. Before the computer era, the passage of time was more visible, when photos were mainly prints on paper that were yellowing, curling, and on which the colors were fading. Nowadays, photos are in the cloud in their original condition for eternity.

My work opposes the instantaneous and the ephemeral youth with the passage and the outrage of time, symbolized by the canvas - the support - which will seem torn or disintegrated in some paintings, while the matter/ the painting itself as a medium, will seem decrepit.

It is a contemporary approach to the so-called "Vanitas" genre of the 17th century by transposing the context of the Thirty Years' War and plague epidemics to the war presently aging in Europe and to the current unending global health crisis. It expresses the same fears and therefore, a similar reflection concerning the time which passes frightfully quickly and the fragility of life in general except that I am using self-portraiture - or selfies, which is the ultimate self-centered popular art form of the 21st century- as the subject for my “vanitas” instead of representing the traditional elements of that genre, such as skulls, candles, etc. except for the use of mirrors or of reflected images.


Selfying has this particularity that the subject is not exactly photographing oneself but is rather photographing oneself through a mirror image generated by the screen of the phone. The selfies that inspire me the most are the ones taken with the additional use of a traditional mirror. It reaches then an abysmal level of complexity. Would it not be the paramount manifestation of this unconscious or conscious human quest toward infinity and therefore eternal life?


I was born in Montréal, Québec.

I studied graphic design and fine arts.

I am based in Berlin since the collapse of the GDR.

I work in the film and TV industry, and I travel from Berlin to Southeast Asia regularly to supervise or direct the animation of animated films or TV series for 23 years.

My first supervision was in Kyiv, Ukraine.

I started this series of paintings after a mission in Beijing 3 years ago, just before the Covid crisis, and then, I continued to paint during the lockdown until this ignominious current war in Ukraine.


  ARTWORKS | figurative paintings | abstract and informal paintings  | photography digital art and video art  | sculpture 
 home artists  exhibitions artworks  catalogs photogallery  contact us visitors information privacy policy