Artist Focus: Russel West
In a career spanning 25 years, through his travels and numerous experiments, British artist and former graphic designer Russel West has acquired a unique technique for creating his three-dimensional murals. These are composed of a multitude of media and supports, where colours, juxtapositions and forms combine for a lively and dynamic result. A discreet artist living in his studio on the Isle of Wight, Russel West has enjoyed dazzling success through his exhibitions all over the world, particularly in Asia, a continent that has had a considerable influence on his work.
"I've always liked accumulations and patterns that don't repeat themselves, and that's probably why I find slums so fascinating. It's not so much the cities that inspire me, but the parts of the cities that are the most overcrowded. I travelled a lot in the 80s and 90s, mainly in Asia and the Orient. It was probably in the slums of India that I found my love for extreme colour combinations, but those in China interested me more because they are built high up, like the infamous "Citadel of Kowloon". I had the chance to visit it on the first day I went to Hong Kong in 1991, before it was demolished by the Chinese authorities to clean up the city, and I discovered a very well guarded fence surrounding it, the authorities not letting anyone in. It had to be demolished within six months, no one knew how many people were living or working there, but it was estimated that 50,000 people had been evicted. I was able to make sketches and take many pictures of the outside and I was present when they demolished the walled city with a ball and chain, allowing me to see what the inside looked like."
Russel West uses a very large number of different mediums, and all sorts of more or less traditional tools. His technique is unique: he does not use brushes, just two pieces of wire hanger and a sharp knife. He also uses paint drips because he appreciates the randomness of the paint movements, an echo of the way slums are formed. "I set out to create a kind of music for the eyes. If people engage with my work, then I guess my mission is accomplished. I think there's a lot to learn from studying slums. They are built by the people who live there, not by urban planners or developers, who generally prefer straight lines and conformity. That is why each dwelling is different, reflecting the situation or the tastes of the inhabitants. In an increasingly sanitized world, where the intervention of machines prevents natural chaos, I hope to leave a testimony of these emblematic places."
Artist Focus: Florent Touchot
As he wanders through the big cities that are his inspiration, Florent Touchot photographs the streets that define them and tears off the posters that cover them. By superimposing photo and collage, he offers us images, colors, memories that are familiar to us and, despite the lacerations, the coherent dynamic of his works gives us the soul of these cities.
His sources of inspiration are mainly urban, they are cities such as Marseille, London or New York . Each painting is born in the diversity and movement of urban life. The perspectives and alignments offered by a city serve as a basis for his work. But of course, he is also inspired by its walls. Graffiti, concert posters, promotional posters... "I discover colours, typographies and images, like the pin-up cars of the fifties, which I like to associate in my creation. An artist like Jacques Villeglé particularly inspired me with his work on street posters."
Florent would define his work as "photography on Plexiglas superimposed on urban lacerations", a mixture of photography, collage and painting. The starting point is a photograph that is shot on a Plexiglas plate. He then collects posters from the city walls, tears them down and stores them in his studio. "These pieces of posters are for me a real palette of colours and textures. I then carry out a work of recomposition to create a collage in harmony with the photograph in the foreground. I also use acrylic spray paint to enhance certain parts of the Plexiglas or collage."
Artist Focus: Nick Veasey
Land-rovers, Louboutin shoes or Volkswagen vans... No object of our everyday life escapes the X-rays of our English photographer Nick Veasey, who for 13 years has been constantly dissecting our habits to capture their deepest essence. His works can be seen in major international collections, such as the Victoria & Albert museum in London, the Pushkin museum in Moscow and the Taipei museum of contemporary art.
"My main inspirations are the normally invisible intrinsic details of my subjects, which I reveal through X-rays. My work is essentially a statement against superficiality. By stripping the surface and focusing on the substance of an object, one can understand how and why it could have existed in that form. An X-ray shows the evolution of an object, whether it was designed by man or by nature," he says. X-rays are radioactive and therefore dangerous. They form a spectrum of light, but this spectrum is invisible to the human eye. So Nick Veasey uses something invisible to make the normally invisible interior of his subject visible. The image on the film is the same size as the object, and because the film is in the form of small sheets, it is often a lot of separate X-rays that will make up the final image. His radiograph of a Mini, for example, consists of more than 350 separate X-rays that are then digitally superimposed, which can take a long time.
"I want to reach people's minds and make them appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world. At a certain level, my work is immediate - you see an X-ray, you see inside. But if you look at it more closely, you discover incredible details. The more you look at my photos, the more you will continue to discover. Beauty is everywhere, just sometimes you have to look closely to see it."
Rejoice : the re-opening exhibition
Dear collectors, dear friends,
We hope that you are well, that you have taken good care of yourself and your loved ones, and that you are as happy as we are to be able to leave the house little by little. We are also happy to announce that the gallery is opening its doors again, starting May 14th! The opening hours will be arranged, appointments will be made easier and security measures will be respected, for a smooth re-opening. The works are still available on the site, of course, and the delivery circuits should resume their usual train.
To celebrate this re-opening, we would like to introduce you to our artists whose works bring joy and are a true ode to happiness. Come and support the work of Silvia Calmejane, Nicolas Dubreuille, Marcel Ceuppens and many others.
New opening hours
Saturday: By appointment
24, rue Treilhard 75008 Paris
We remain at your disposal if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org / 06 80 07 41 89
Artist Focus: Reinhard Görner
Libraries are both shelters and places of escape. It is this feeling that our photographer Reinhard Görner has been exploring for many years, in search of the most beautiful and solemn reading rooms around the world. Intimate libraries nestled in the heart of secluded abbeys or grandiose halls of prestigious universities, for the German artist, these rooms are an inexhaustible reservoir of inspiration. Let yourself be transported through architectures, styles and eras in this portrait of Reinhard Görner, a self-taught artist with a multifaceted and contagious passion.
As an architectural photographer, Reinhard worked for many years for architects before deciding to focus on his passion. His goal is to explore how the great masters of architecture have created spaces that breathe beauty and silence by playing with shadows, light, proportions, rhythms. He quickly discovered that libraries have always been and still are wonderful playgrounds for architects, allowing them to focus on the question of form and emptiness: "I see myself as an ambassador trying to convey the spirit of these builders with my photographic means".
"Once you enter the space, a dialogue with the room will begin: how does it feel, is there a notion of balance, is it overloaded with décor (which is sometimes found in baroque libraries), in what position do I feel it is here and nowhere else? Last but not least, before pressing the shutter, I have to remove all the disturbing elements from the room - there are usually many of them. If this is not possible on location, I have to "clean" the image in post-production, the eye having to rest and not be distracted by irritating objects". The photographer wishes to convey an air of serenity and stillness through his photographs: "I hope that the viewers will find a sense of rest when looking at my photographs. Furthermore, I hope that my photographs will bring another dimension to the rooms in which they are hung".
Artist Focus: Cécile Plaisance
To admire Cécile Plaisance's lenticular photographs is above all to adhere to her strong positions on the influence of culture on women's bodies. Her models, whether human or dolls, are veiled and revealed through the prism of the hologram. A distinguished artist whom we have followed since her beginnings, Cécile Plaisance marvels at the way she looks at women and their desires for freedom, enjoyment, power and emancipation.
"My inspirations are obviously multiple. There are so many splendours around us for those who know how to pay attention to them! Advertising, current events... play an important role in my creative process." Cecile also draws inspiration from her predecessors: Pop Art artists, avant-garde fashion photographers, pin-up illustrators, Pirelli or Playboy calendars. "In fact, it's all this popular culture of representing the sexy woman, provocative without being vulgar, a little delirious under a wise appearance, these women presented successively over the years as ideal women. Curious how they have changed over time... Or is it men?"
"Contrary to what one might think, my work is not a battle, nor is it a war of the sexes. It's an ode to femininity, to love. I admire women as much as I love men. On the other hand, I am deeply hostile to the place that religion takes over women's freedom. No matter what religion is, it has far too great a hold on their lives! My work is an expression of the need to find male-female balance. We are "soul complements", of equal value. I hope that every woman can recognize herself in my photos. No matter her beliefs, her religion. Secrets, forbidden or clandestine pleasures, mysteries, are part of desire, seduction, encounters, life... I wish to be accessible and communicate just a little humour and beauty."
Faced with the epidemic that is affecting us today, support for care workers around the world and for research to find a vaccine is more essential than ever. We would like to make our contribution to this effort by mobilizing today to offer you a virtual solidarity sale: 15% of the amount collected will be donated to Médecins sans frontières.
Sale from April 21 to May 2, at 6 pm.
15 artists, 100 works.See the sale here
Artist focus: Dimitri Bourriau
Dimitri Bourriau, aka Jahz Design, is a master in the art of photographing abandoned places, sometimes in very remote areas. This gives his photography a historical nature, and plunges us into worlds we have never known, but which nevertheless seem familiar. We closely follow the adventures of this talented young photographer and are each time dazzled by his taste for risk.
It is undoubtedly a set of personal tastes that influence him in his work: "I'm a film and architecture buff, but I also have a real interest in places steeped in history." As a child, he was fascinated by the conquest of space. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a mythical place that strictly follows the traditions of the pioneers of the conquest, and it was from this base that Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, was launched. In 2019, he therefore decided to set off in search of the relics that bear witness to the remains of the Soviet space programme.
The search for light is paramount in his photos. "Because light gives life to places, I analyse their configuration, I look for skylights, the orientation of openings... This will determine the moment when it best suits the composition." Shooting old theaters is a very special exercise. Often, the halls are extremely dark and the scenes in complete darkness. He then positions himself on the basket, the first floor of the hall, which was once the preferred place to be admired. Then he manually merges the whole thing in post-production to achieve the results he wants. Dimitri tries to show that all these places are not necessarily "forgotten". He shares a photographic testimony, a work of archiving. This gives the person who looks at these photos the role of an active witness to this history.
Artist focus: Vinça Monadé
Art teacher in ceramics, Vinça Monadé began her apprenticeship by studying graphic design, then studied in the studio of Amore at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. We fell in love with this resolutely positive artist, who has been combining pastels on paper and ceramics for many years. Seemingly simple in appearance but the result of a very particular technique, Vinça Monadé's "Couleurs des champs" series is a true ode to the countryside and its astonishing colours.
"Couleurs des champs" is a work on the fragment. Vinça lives and works in an environment of nature and landscapes reappear either in their entirety or as isolated elements, in a synthetic vision that comes close to the free forms of abstraction. Reality is envisaged in an extreme simplification and I like this formal ambiguity between figuration and abstraction. "In the city everything is a sign, I live in the country and I wanted to transpose this very synthetic vision, through the fragment. The work on the sign is a very topical preoccupation that hasn't wavered since the great initiators such as Mark Rothko or Ellsworth Kelly.", she says.
This idea of fragments of nature, of fields, is expressed in her creative process, since each drawing is the sum of two assembled forms : "This caesura is a signature, it is the whole identity of the drawing. The colour is then more suggestive, more emotional. It depends on the moment. But its presence remains strong and noisy, close to the illuminations of the Middle Ages." Through her pastels, Vinça wishes to share a certain plenitude, the strength of life, and that simplicity which is hers. These drawings offer themselves to the eye frontally, without shadow or anxiety, and express an inner peace.
Artist focus: Edouard Buzon
What a great journey we have made with Edouard Buzon, our artist discovered fifteen years ago, whose works have met with dazzling international success. This young French painter knows how to create a world of his own, mixing photography, painting and lacquer. Fascinated by the fruit of many years of research and work, we wanted to know more about what inspires him on a daily basis and his methods to transcribe his travels of the mind.
Photography inspires Edouard Buzon to start a work. Some places have left a deep impression on him, such as Barcelona for example, and its Olympic port district. "What I had been doing for a long time with my montages, I discovered it there in its raw state. Sometimes reality exceeds my fiction, at Coney Island I found myself face to face with fake palm trees with metal trunks. Paradox! Obviously I succumbed to the superannuated and glaucous charm of this 70s fun fair. It's a place that left a deep impression on me, an alternative place."
The painter then applies colours he makes himself from pigments. He organizes improbable encounters between visual elements that could not meet in real life, and integrates them into more abstract landscapes, orchestrated by flat areas of paint. "In order to finalize the work, I polish the surface of the works for weeks, layer after layer, to give them a special lacquer and shine that brings out the colours." For Edouard, his works are not meant to define a story, but to offer everyone a language to write their own story. The images are familiar but each one will take a different path to get there, and that is what drives him.
Artist focus: Nadejda Pastoukhova
The still lifes of Russian artist Nadejda Pastoukhova leave one wondering. They transport us into her dreamlike and poetic world, in which fruit come to life, where the banality of everyday life takes on a cosmic dimension, where we become aware of the beauty of simplicity. Ethereal but powerful, her paintings are an ode to the spiritual world but also to human presence.
"The poetry of reality, of everyday life attracts me. My compositions are very pure, as in the minimalist and intimate still lifes of Morandi, or like the audacious sprawl of Peter Doig's landscapes. Often, in my paintings, which represent objects or vast deserted landscapes, man is absent, but his presence is tangible: it is translated by objects he has created, touched, and perhaps left behind."
The grain and matt surface of her paintings are close to the murals she has seen in Russian Orthodox cathedrals. This surface also has a sensual aspect: one feels like touching the canvas, going over it with one's hand to feel its softness. Her painting evolves in layers; several dozen layers of semi-opaque colours mixed with wax (technique called "encaustic") finally create a rich and united chromatic atmosphere. "I particularly like the palettes of Italian painters of the Renaissance period, such as Bellini." For Nadejda, everything lies in the atmosphere of her artworks: "In my paintings, drawings or engravings, I try to create an atmosphere, a world where time is suspended. Silence and immensity envelop pure and simple compositions. Finally, I try to make objects, or places that we no longer look at, beautiful."
Artist focus: Marcel Ceuppens
Marcel Ceuppens is a positive artist who likes to make people happy. Last year, during a fair, we had an immediate crush on his work. His background as an art director in advertising has given him a keen eye for graphic design, and he is proving to be just as skilled as an artist. Sleek lines, a reduced range of colours, bowler hats and touches of formica... Marcel Ceuppens draws directly from the codes of art and design of the 1950s to create his prints.
"I'm a big fan of contemporary art, but it's mostly mid-century art that has had a major impact on me. And not only painting or sculpture, but also architecture, design, photography, cinema, music or advertising." If he likes that era so much, it's because artists and designers aimed to make things and life better. It was a time full of hope for a bright future. They were really providing answers, finding solutions, all with a great sense of aesthetics. And according to him, everything he does is influenced by this passion.
When Marcel gets to work, he has a vague idea of what he wants, but he doesn't really know where he's going, and why a piece works or doesn't work. "I always say that my abstract compositions are like visual Sudoku. I move, I slide, I change and I wonder about shapes and colors, in all possible directions, until it finally works! So I guess I don't really control where it takes me, I just know when the piece is finished and it's perfect." What does he want to share through his work? "One day, at an art fair, an older man in a suit was looking at my piece "The Bathers" for a very long time. And he was smiling. I asked him why he was smiling, he said he was smiling because it made him happy. That's the nicest compliment I've ever received. So I'd like you to say it makes you happy!"
Time for a short break
Dear all, dear friends,
We hope you are well, that your are taking care of yourself and of your loved ones, and wish you courage in the coming weeks. As you will have understood, the gallery has closed its doors until the storm passes, and we will be very happy to see you there as soon as possible. The fairs we were supposed to attend in the spring have fortunately been postponed to better days, you can keep posted by consulting the fairs section of our website.
In the meantime, the site will be updated daily with new works by our arists and we will take advantage of this period of break in the frenzy of life to offer you some reading about our artists. This way, we hope to take your mind off things. Discover over the weeks - via our newsletters or our Instagram - their inspirations, their techniques and maybe it will inspire you in turn to be creative in your spare time!
Finally, the works will still be available on the site, and despite the inevitable slowdown in delivery circuits, our team will do everything possible to ensure your orders.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
email@example.com / 06 80 07 41 89
Take care and stay safe
Cathy, Yann, Diane & Amélie
AAF London - Battersea
From 11th to 15th March, meet Envie d'Art at the Affordable Art Fair of Battersea in London (Booth D2). You will be able to admire the works of a dozen artists, including the latest addition Nick Veasey, but also Reinhard Görner, Peter Keizer, Cécile Plaisance, Nemo Jantzen and many others.
More information here
Landscapes as far as the eye can see, richly decorated interiors, heights and depths... are all scenery that can be enhanced by simply triggering the small black box. From March 5 to April 15, come and admire the prowess of our photographers, constantly in search of new techniques to sublimate their subjects. You will discover the works of our new artist Nick Veasey, and you will rediscover those of Reinhard Görner, Jeff Robb, Mikael Lafontan and Didier Fournet.
See all the artworks here
Cécile Plaisance at the Musée de l'Homme
The unmissable Cécile Plaisance is once again at the forefront of the Parisian art scene with her work "La Cène", in which she recreates the biblical scene using Barbie dolls. On the occasion of the exhibition "Je mange donc je suis" at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris, discover her unique vision of the last meal.
More information here
New artist: Nick Veasey
We are very pleased to welcome British photographer Nick Veasey, who for the past 13 years has scanned more than 4,000 objects with X-rays, allowing us to "see things as they really are". We have already presented him at the LA Art Show earlier this month and his work can be seen in major international collections such as the Victoria & Albert museum in London, the Pushkin museum in Moscow and the Taipei museum of contemporary art.
Discover all his artworks here
Artist focus: Peter Hoffer
Peter Hoffer portrays trees and invites the public to take a closer look at their posture, details and expressions. The Canadian artist, originally from Ontario, has not abandoned painting or the classic subject of landscape, which he revisits from his contemporary perspective. Inspired by 19th century vernissages, the dripping of the early abstract expressionists and deeply rooted in the artistic tradition of landscape painting, Peter Hoffer shares with us in this interview his processes and his vision of the future.
The trees that Peter paints are not a copy of an existing geography. Sometimes he paints from photographs, but most of the time these trees are reminiscences. However, whether they exist or not, he sees his work as more about technique, about how he perceives the world, rather than the reality of the world itself. A few kilometres from Montreal, Peter has a cottage in the middle of the forest, which has become his lair, a place where he loves to paint. When he gets started, he starts by painting with oil on wood, then the more creative part begins: he applies touches of acrylic paint and several coats of epoxy varnish, which he makes himself. This process was inspired by the varnishes used in the academic painting salons of the 19th century, a way of embellishing paintings and conserving them.
For the artist, it is a question of staging evocative landscapes, which will awaken memories, dreams, a feeling of déjà vu in each one. But at the second reading, if we see more than a landscape but a true reflection on art, the representation of nature and the painting as an object in itself, then he will have succeeded in his wager.
See all the works of Peter Hoffer
LA Art Show
February is the best moment to visit California, AKA the Sunshine State ! If you are in the area by any chance from the 5th to the 9th, don't miss visiting us at booth 1201 of the LA Art Show, in Los Angeles.
More information here
New artist: Marie-Ange Daudé
This month, we are pleased to welcome Marie-Ange Daudé, a feather worker by training, who creates portraits entirely made from feathers, to our team of Envie d'Art artists. Suspended on nylon threads, the feathers create plays of light and shadow, and exacerbate the softness, fragility and femininity of the faces she portrays.
Opening of the exhibition "Poetic Portraits"
We hope to see many of you at the opening of our new exhibition, which will take place on 16 January from 7 to 9 pm, at 24, rue Treilhard (Paris 8), in the presence of the artists.
It will be an opportunity to discover the feathered portraits of our new artist Marie-Ange Daudé, which are an ode to femininity, but also the works of Peter Hoffer which pay tribute to trees and their majesty. Finally, you will meet Hanna Sidorowicz, an artist who evokes our vulnerability through her vaporous portraits.
Register for the opening: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist focus: Hanna Sidorowicz
From her years at the Fine Arts School of Gdansk in Poland, Hanna has been captivated by medieval and Renaissance painting. The symbolism, the imagination, the enchantment-- which at that time was communicated only through frescoes, stained glass windows and religious paintings -- gave life a metaphysical touch that we have lost sight of today. From Velasquez's meninas to cherubs and libraries, discover the many inspirations of this extraordinary painter, her creative process and her aspirations.
Like many artists, she is inspired by everything that surrounds us, but with an irrepressible desire to highlight the invisible. Other painters have done it before, like the Meninas for example, a theme that was taken up by Picasso who himself reinterpreted the work of Velasquez. And it was when she saw Picasso's series that she in turn was inspired by these symbolic figures of fleeting youth, of nascent femininity and of imperceptibly developing personalities. Hanna usually paints on paper, which she then pastes onto canvas. As for the colour red, she uses egg paint called "tempera", for the brilliance of the colour. As far as the creative aspect of her work is concerned, everything lies in the process, the repetition, the duration.
Today, she explores a new theme which is that of our reconnection with nature. By adorning the human figure with angel wings made of vegetal branches, she wanted to work on this contemporary need to reconnect with our origins, while keeping an eye towards the future. The idea of interweaving, too, is important to her and is the subject of a new series she started. She creates brush weaves to symbolize the invisible links that connect us to each other and to the world. What she wishes to share ? To offer, for a moment, the possibility of evading into a world that is more mystical than tangible, into an imaginary world that we sometimes lose consciousness of in the frenzy of daily life.
In 2020, let's take the time for art
For nearly twenty years, we have been pursuing our profession as gallery owners with love and passion. In 2020, our wish is to share this passion even more, and to take, together, the time for art. Meeting the artists, contemplating their works, understanding their approach, feeling shared emotions... are many moments of evasion that we wish to live with you. It is a breath of fresh air in our daily lives that we hope to offer you for many years to come. Happy new year to all!
Cathy, Yann, Diane, Anne & Laëtitia