Mes amis



48.9 x 65.1 cm (19 1/4 x 25 5/8 in.)

Abdessemed’s photograph Mes amis (My Friends) features Julie, his wife, walking with a skeleton on a sunny day along rue Lemercier near the artist's Paris studio. The frame evokes a scene of a melancholic couple. Symbolising, in the manner of 17th-century vanities, the inevitable passage of time and youth, the skeleton questions our intimate relationship to existential anguish through this probable self-portrait of the artist in the Pinault Collection.

In the mid-2000s, Abdessemed performed a series of macabre dances in the streets of Western cities. Obsessed by the death and violence he fled in the early 1990s in his native Algeria, the artist draws on cruel, incisive iconography. He says, "I turn horror into symphonies.”

Mes amis was first exhibited by the Pinault Collection during the exhibition "Qui a peur des artistes?" (“Who’s Afraid of Artists?”) at the Palais des Arts in Dinard in 2009.