Veritable spectator of the world, Karine Giboulo draws her inspiration from her surroundings and today’s important global issues. Her lucid take on society allows her to create imaginary worlds in which innocence and fantasy cohabit with derision and social commentary. These dual layers destabilize the observer, bringing greater awareness of the human condition.
Karine Giboulo first expressed her ideas through painting, investing her large canvases with a narrative quality inspired from the comic book format. She soon felt the need to expand her creative scope and began constructing sculptural pieces that reflected the themes of her paintings. Far from being simple three-dimensional reproductions, these pieces interacted with her paintings, completing them and bringing their messages to life.
With the Bulles de vie (Bubbles of Life) series in 2006 Giboulo presented finely sculpted figurines in scenes infused with a political or social flavour as well as a healthy dash of humour. Giboulo filled a room with hanging Plexiglas spheres, each containing compelling little moments in time or what she called caricatures of reality. Mirrors of our society, they reflected its inconsistencies, its absurdities, its fragilities.
In 2007, after the success of Bulles de vie, which was presented in many galleries and art centres, Giboulo presented a new series: Intérieurs (Interiors). Now using human sized multi-story buildings as the vessel for her sculpted scenes, she reconnected to and reintroduced the structured narrative quality of her early paintings.
In 2008, after a trip to China, where she visited the factory-dormitories of Shenzhen, the nerve centre of the “Made in China” reality, Karine Giboulo used the factory to examine our consumer society. All you can eat is, a sarcastic and humorous take on overconsumption, as well as a touching hommage to young Chinese factory workers.
Like the writings of Jean de la Fontaine, Karine Giboulo’s pieces read like fables where the animal is personified to comically and mockingly reveal different facets of our behaviour. Giboulo plays with contrasts: humour, vivid colours, and naive childlike qualities oppose the gravity, indeed tragedy, of certain scenes. This ever-present duality inhabits the presentation of her creations. The observer wavers from laughter to reflection and back, invited to ponder the inconsistencies of our society.
These last three years, Karine Giboulo’s work has impressed both professionals of the contemporary art world and the general public. Quite a feat for this young artist, who considers art as a way of communicating with others.