February 16, 2023

Jean Rustin was born in 1928 in Montigny-Lès-Metz. After his studies at the École des Beaux arts in Paris, he settled in the French commune of Bagnolet. Initially Rustin belonged to the abstract art, influenced by numerous styles that manifested themselves during this time or before. However, in 1971 there was a turning point in his career. During a major retrospective of his work in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, he came to a personal repentance. In his own words, he absolutely believed in abstract painting, but came to realize that it was impossible to express everything with nothing. He retired to his studio to develop a new visual language, since then he has used a figurative style. His work is versatile and often contrasting. He often paints naked figures, even in a sexual context, but then completely stripped of any beauty or eroticism. The viewer is not seduced by the portraits, but rather shocked. Frequently, the characters are labelled as psychiatric patients. However, according to the artist himself, this is not the intention, he paints ordinary people in a way that they do not want to see themselves. In our true nature of imperfection, without a filter, which is confirmed by his self-portraits. In addition to the content, his blue/grey colour palette is also very typical and using a powerful technique. We can at least say that these works show great ambiguity.
In international art history, the second half of the 20th century has some great artists in the field of figurative art. Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud are perhaps the two biggest names, Rustin can place himself next to these grandmasters. Jean Rustin died in Paris in 2013.