« Dorian Guo is certainly, along with François Cheng, the most French of all Chinese. In less than a decade, this young man has been able to immerse himself in a past, a culture, a language and an artistic tradition that were not his own, but which now constitute the raw material of his iconographic oeuvre. Where some, far too many, pass by without ever seeing anything, Dorian Guo’s retina absorbs images, references and reminiscences that his hand then restores with as much jubilation as dexterity.
A direct descendant of Carmontelle but also of the Serebriakoff siblings, Erté and Philippe Jullian, he sketches the last socialites of Paris, Rome and New York in settings that would make the old café society green with envy. Depending on his mood and that of his prestigious clients, he pins them like pretty butterflies against a backdrop of woodwork borrowed from the most beautiful French châteaux or in their own interiors, which more often than not have no reason to envy the former …
Of his native China, Dorian Guo has nevertheless retained the art of the mandarin portrait, a taste for bright colours, and the sense of detail of those vast imperial scrolls on which the calligraphers of the Forbidden City were able to show an army on the march, to render the pleasures of the gynaeceum, and to conjure the splendours of the Manchu court.
Not without mischief, Dorian enriches each of his works with minute details that refer as much to the personal history of his models as to moments of civilization that survive, for the most part, only in the aesthetic culture of a happy few. Thus, in a tradition inherited from the genre painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Dorian Guo’s work is at once a pleasure for the eye, a parlour game and a stimulus for the mind. »
Writer, laureate of the Académie Française
Former adviser for culture to President Sarkozy
« Dorian has all the qualities of a man of taste and talent of the twenty-first century. His knowledge and expertise of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries give him a head start as a man of his time – it’s a gift – you can’t “draw” the future without understanding the past … It’s not only politics and economics that define the spirit of an age … Artists and intellectuals are responsible for the packaging of this unique
perfume that is the “Present”. »