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David aiu Servan-Schreiber

London, UK | Painting



In his newest exhibition Planets, David Servan-Schreiber takes on the introspective task of retracing his own path to faith, from a childhood deliberately deprived of religion to making his entrance into adulthood with the concession that life without spirituality is hell.

Presenting a variety of anonymous planets against coloured backgrounds, the London-based French artist pays a tribute to the celestial elements which ignited faith in him as an adolescent and continue to guide his reflections as a painter today.

Astronomy was once hampered by religious bigotry yet it has become increasingly tied with spiritual sentiments through its symbolism and apparent infinity. Servan-Schreiber’s exhibition questions our reactions to ground-breaking concepts and the value prism through which we validate and reject scientific findings at a time when the information age has made Fermi’s paradox untenable and social frustrations across the globe make extra-terrestrial life more a supplication than a question.

His use of gold leaves on each planet is far from innocuous as they are a mainstay of Christian Orthodox icons, recalling man’s struggle and attempts to depict unseen divinities.

Further reports hint that the discovery of inhabitable planets elsewhere in the universe are now a matter of when not if. Servan-Schreiber’s exhibition leads us to ponder what beliefs man will bring with him upon colonising new orbits, and whether these discoveries might bring an end to earthly religions. In that event, hope may or may not continue being in the stars.

Primary Mediums

Painting, gold leaf