THEATE dominique

1968 . liège . belgium

Dominique Théate was brought up in the culture of the tawdry and rebellious 1980s. He was preparing to enter art school when, one day in the fall of 1987, he was in a serious motorcycle accident. Freeze on the image of youth destroyed: wailing sirens, coma, brain surgery, specialized institutions. He was given little chance of recovery. Against all expectations, Théate relearned how to walk and talk, and he began to draw again. Although his memory was rooted in the 1980s, he projected himself into a radiant and dreamlike future as a modern man who had all the attributes for conventional success: charming wife, stylish interiors, soccer and music as pastimes, and the indispensable BMW. In his eyes, he was just like Jacky, his mother’s boyfriend, who was a double for pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and the supreme model of masculinity. Since 2001, Théate, who has nicknamed himself “Blabla” because of his talkativeness, has strutted his full stature in the studios of La “S” Grand Atelier (studios for mentally disabled artists) to bring us the life that he dreams of and his resolutions for the future. In addition to drawing, which is his usual medium, he is the creator of a rich and original body of photographic work. Most often, he uses magazine photographs to which he adds his drawn self-portrait (the dominant actor in the staging) and defines his likeness with areas of white paint. Sometimes, he superimposes a sort of copy of the self-portrait that is drawn on tracing paper onto a photograph of a celebrity, and then decodes the photograph with carbon paper, carefully avoiding all similarity.