“Nathalie Salé is a” ymagière “, as it was said in the Middle Ages.This is to say that she illustrates stories that are thought to be written for children but are not. The abundant Big, colorful kakemonos echo the Far Eastern tradition, Per-sian miniatures, illuminations of medieval manuscripts, images of Epinal, Russian loubki, but also paintings by Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Georg Baselitz or Peter Doig.
Their vertical lush format and somewhat disturbing universe also refers to the tarot’s blades or the arcanes of fortune-tellers. Their shimmering colors make them look like images illustrating fairy tales . There are, of course, princess-es, flowers, enchanted gardens and even good-natured dragons, but their stag-ing on the unrolled paper does not preclude anything good. The seduction of the first reading gives way to questions about the hidden meaning of these ara-besques that become carnivorous plants or tentacles of sea monsters, the obvi-ous inability to communicate all the actors of this comedy that turns into drama or tragedy. An imminent misfortune looms, without anyone seeming to suspect it, but, for the spectator, it is inevitable, even if he is unable to define it … Just an indefinable malaise, a latent mystery, as in the dramas of Maeterlinck.
Perhaps these compositions should be read as testimonies to the difficulty of mourning one’s childhood and its gentle spells, reluctance to deal with the cru-elty of adulthood, of the difficult accession to maturity, which can never let go of the moorings of dreams and fantasies of childhood.» Louis Doucet, collector and critic