Born in Nantes, France
Philippe Cognée lived in Bénin until 1974 when he came to France to study art. He had his first personal exhibition in 1982. In the early Eighties, Philippe painted figures and mythological scenes. He made roughly hewn wood sculptures.
In the Nineties and 2000 plus, he developed a new process. He took photographs or made videos with a camcorder, printing photos
that become encaustic paintings on wood or canvas which, in the last stage, are crushed with a household iron. He says he is seeking "confusion between the underneath and the surface, always sensitive to descriptions of our relations with substance, mud and indistinct elements before the shape."
"In my opinion, the definition of an artist could simply be: someone seeking to be fair to himself and with his time in order to really exist. It is the conquest of liberty and life. I want to try and believe that painting is a mean that will take me somewhere about, way beyond discussion about art."
Philippe Cognée depicts his ever day life reality: landscapes, cities, houses, interiors, monuments, objects, pieces of furniture, portraits. Encaustic gives his paintings a special touch, in which he tries to thin down the form in the substance, “to make things disappear in light”. In 2003, he made a new series of paintings representing animal cadavers, carcasses seen at the butchery.