Hotel Sofitel’s latest exhibition depicts far-flung locales and exotic maps from across time
From historic buildings in his native Versailles to the lobby of Yves Saint Laurent’s home and Phnom Penh’s Independence Monument, artist Thomas Pierre explores the grand places of the world through his paintbrush.
His latest exhibition, Terra Cognita, opened last night at Hotel Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. The paintings depict places Pierre has been to as well as those he would like to visit, including lavish museums in Russia and unique parks in Algeria.
Since moving to Phnom Penh five years ago, the 41-year-old artist has honed his trademark technique: layering paint and textures to create a distinctive effect. His painting of the Palace of Versailles took him two months and close to twenty layers of paint and other materials including a plastic-acrylic glue and extra paper. “I create a very special technique because when you are looking, and the closer you are, you can see you have another dimension to the painting. It is not just oil, you have some material on the painting,” said Pierre.
Terra Cognita also showcases a number of travel books and a series of ancient and modern maps because, Pierre said, “all travels start with a map”.
The oldest map displayed is a replica from the 17th century, during the peak of exploration, when Canada was yet to be fully discovered – hence it appears noticeably smaller. The most recent map depicts all flight paths taking place at one point in time.
Terra Cognita is at Hotel Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, #26 Old August Site, Sothearos Boulevard.