Toiles de Jouy

All projects of the Haitian-American artist Jean-Ulrick Désert tackle the visualization of abstract ideas, such as the complex relations between private and political space. It is thus a work of translation of concepts into the visual world. Individual as well as collective knowledge forming collective iconographies are first determined then alienated in order to destroy patterns of recognition that have become mere clichés, thus opening up new ways to view them.

Mr.Désert asserts that «decoration» serves as a vehicle to carry (western and Bourgeois) ideas about order and the fantasies of foreign places and other peoples. The artist has chosen a crossing of contemporary Orientalism fantasies and sex tourism, afforded by access to international travel. Mr.Désert does not want to present a condition of exploitation by the West over the East but more importantly the mutual exploitation founded on the «currency» of sex and the modern leisure industry. Barring the economic inequity, there is none the less a cultivation in the East to profit from the Orientalism constructed in the West. This phenomenon has also created questionable practices such as modern sex slavery and the sexual abuse of children not presented overtly in these drawings but none the less remain as an extended subtext. 

The series notably also includes a Mail-order-brides series which utilizes images from the trafficking of women in the former Soviet-block countries such as Ukraine as well as Asia. The series has expanded to portrait commissions that reference tourism or interracial partnerships.