Opening: Friday, April 27 from 7pm to 9pm
Artist Reception: Friday, May 4 from 7pm to 9:30pm
Joanathan Bessaci Ribaillier was born and raised in Lyon, France. Bessaci began his career as a painter in his early twenties. After visiting New York in 2004 he became interested in paper cutting. He completed only 3 works before he again turned his focus back to painting in 2012.
In 2012, he started cutting stickers and placing them in the various cities that he visited. He returned to Lyon where he discovered vintage Michelin maps and he began to use them for his cut portraits. The old French maps appeal to him because he grew up surrounded by objects much like them. Both his father and grandfather have stands in Lyon’s largest flea market and as a child and adolescent, he spent many hours there. Many of the maps he uses come from Lyon and Flea markets throughout France.
Bessaci works with old Michelin maps dating from roughly 1920 to 1970. He prefers these vintage French maps because of their color and texture and because they symbolize the roads that various family members have taken to get to France. His maternal grandmother immigrated to France from Vietnam and his paternal grandfather emigrated there from Kabylia (Northern Algeria).
Bessaci’s current work consists of cutting portraits and other images from several different old maps. The maps are chosen very carefully. Certain visual elements of the finished images are highlighted by integrating the map’s geography including lakes, rivers, oceans, roads highways, parks, and city centers. Each of his pieces uses multiple layers of the cut maps. Each layer is individually placed between sheets of glass to create depth and texture.
- Tuesday – Friday: 3:30pm to 6:30pm
- Saturday & Sunday by appointment.
Gallery OonH is located at 1354 H St. NE.