PressThe dangerous work of Jacques Braunstein

“The current work of Jacques Braunstein is painting, sculpture and an object of cult at the same time but with a haunting nature defining in a peremptory way the strange singularity. When he enters his studio, the visitor is captured by the unusual atmosphere and willingly heaviness that reigns: the walls, the furniture, the display cases are covered galore with strange objects, often aggressive and threatening. Those are only hobnailed or wrapped sexes, figures bound and crucified, painful masks, all a disconcerting universe uniting the unholy and the sacred, the familiar image and the obsessional vision, the every day life and the magic. Despite the perfect order presiding over the organization of this room with uniformly white walls, the visitor stands truly amazed by the nagging presence of the objects that he does not dare to approach without the prudence of a cat, for fear of putting out an eye by contacting a figure with a long sharp sting or stabbig his hand on a spiky statuette surrounded by a hundred pins.
After the first moment of surprise, we soon understand that those objects are designed to celebrate as well as to disturb, to worry and make people think, intend firstly against the hatred, the cruelty and the barbaric from which most civilized societies, even today, do not escape. Beyond the profusion of the symbols, the multiplication of magic or religious references, the permanent spurt of archetypes, the violence and the death, the essential themes of this activity are promptly ethical. Painter, capable of great refinement, Jacques Braunstein tries to forget that he is a plastic artist to find again the freedom and spontaneity of outsider art or tribal societies.
This attitude involves a permanent transgression of the religious feeling, a strong energy expenditure and biological investment, number of objects holding hair or blood for example. So this work is not built day by day with patience and meticulousness for the purpose to please or to reassure but rather to question and to worry. Playing with the taboos, the archetypes, the fantasies, the interdictions, the morbid, the unusual or the marvelous, it reveals and condemns deeply. It is from this ability to cripple our brooding certainties that the work draws its examplary strength.
It is a dangerous work, of which we don’t come back when we had the chance to come close and to allow free access”.

Writer, Art Critic.
April 1987