Fire extinguisher, liquitex acrylic paint
54 x 19 cm (21 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.)
MAIP is a fire extinguisher patiently repainted in the same colour, with the same motifs and inscriptions, as the original object. This sculpture/painting is an appropriation, similar to the readymade. The covering of the fire extinguisher with a layer of thick, “pictorial” paint, leaving the visible trace of the brush, gives a new hybrid status to the object and signals the author's irreverence. Bertrand Lavier subjects the work of the painter, of the artist, to the question: What does painting mean? Is it “well painted”? Is painting enough to make a work of art?
The artist began his “chantier” (building site) of painted objects in 1980. What do they say about mass consumption and the place that mass production leaves for the original, the artisanal? Perhaps this is why Bertrand Lavier likes to organize his work in chantiers and not in series.
The title of the work is simply the brand name of the extinguisher: MAIP, as in Matériel industriel de protection.
This work was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in the inaugural exhibition of the Bourse de Commerce, entitled Ouverture.