Toronto based realistic Painter; Malinda Prud’homme

“It is my sincerest hope to make women feel empowered and uniquely beautiful just as they are.”

-Malinda Prud’homme

Malinda Prudhomme - Head Shot

Even though I’d been making art my entire life it never became a professional goal until my mid 20s. I’d always wanted to become a teacher because I loved learning and wanted to instill that passion in our youth. People generally like to say that high school “was the best time of their life”. It was the opposite for me. I didn’t fit in socially and was often bullied. In some cases my teachers even took part in ridiculing me and it wasn’t long before I realized kindness and maturity have nothing to do with age. Because of my personal experiences I wanted to become a teacher that students would feel comfortable coming to with their problems. I wanted to be there for those who had no one else to talk to. I worked my hardest to achieve this goal and while I do have all the necessary education and more, it just wasn’t meant to be. After I graduated the teaching market in Ontario was incredibly flooded and it was impossible for me to find work.

After years of feeling like my dreams were unattainable I decided it was time to start a new dream, a dream that had been within me all along but seemed too“unrealistic” to ever give it a try. If my “realistic” dream wasn’t panning out then it was time to go big! I’d already been making art part time so thanks to the support of my family I decided to go full-time. With that support and years of hard work and dedication I am proud to say I have been a full-time professional artist for 4 years now.

What keeps me so motivated is the message I try to spread using my artwork and my online presence. It is my sincerest hope to make women feel empowered and uniquely beautiful just as they are. The amazing feedback from fans that I’m fortunate to receive really keeps me passionate and excited about my work.

Q4 - Malinda Prudhomme - True Beauty - Alisha Gauveau“True Beauty”, “Alisha Gauvreau”

IFWA..You mentioned you were dissatisfied with the way the medias represent women. What do you disagree with?

I disagree with the lack of variety we see in our media. Quite often the women portrayed in magazines and advertisements fit into the stereotypical “norms” for beauty. Generally they are thin, young, and predominantly white. These women are gorgeous but so are others! I believe ALL women, regardless of age, size, ethnicity, and personal style, are beautiful in their own unique way. My message is not one the condemns the beauty of women who fall under societal norms but rather encourages all women to see themselves as beautiful. I would love to see larger women and women of different ethnicity incorporated into our mainstream media. I feel that variety is not only beautiful, but is the key to solving the epidemic of low self-esteem a lot of today’s women suffer from.

Q3 - Malinda Prudhomme - Curvy Beauties

-Curvy Beauties

IFWA..Do you see an evolution , or is it still the same as when you first noticed it?

I have definitely seen things change since starting my practice. A trend that’s becoming more popular is the acceptance that women come in all different shapes and sizes and that these shapes and sizes do not necessarily correlate to their health and certainly do not impact their ability to be beautiful. Perhaps I’m seeing this because I surround myself with like-minded people and am interested in topics that follow this type of thinking but I truly believe it is becoming more common and I can only hope that this continues.

IFWA..Did you ever had any difficulty working as a woman, to find work, or be accepted as a portraitist ? If so, what did you do to help you go through the difficulties ?

It’s hard for me to say whether or not I’ve been held back as an artist because I’m a woman. Honestly I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had a good amount of work from the beginning. I think my skill speaks for itself and people who don’t respect women would likely not find my work interesting anyways as it revolves around the well-being of women. The only thing that I’ve noticed is how my language is interpreted differently, very likely because I’m a woman. I’m quite confident about my skill and my work. I would never dream of thinking I’m perfect or even better than others, in fact I never compare myself to other artists, but I have come a long way over the years and I’m proud of that. On occasion I’ll receive comments saying I’m “arrogant” or “pretentious” which is always from someone who doesn’t follow my practice. It’s frustrating that a woman’s confidence is seen as arrogance. But then again, I try not to take too much of what is said from strangers to heart. No matter what you do ,there will always be someone out there who dislikes you. You just have to be self-aware and know you’re doing the best you can do.

Q6 - Malinda Prudhomme - Colour Inspired - RAW

–Color inspired, RAW

IFWA..I must say your pencil drawings are quite touching…How is it working in black and white compared with color, or is it a question of medium?

Thank you! It can sometimes be a question of medium. For example if someone requests a charcoal drawing they’ll obviously be receiving an image in black and white but then again I do sometimes make the choice to do black and white with something like oil paints just because it gives off a different emotion. At this point in time I believe I prefer to work with color. The brightness and variety makes me very happy. But I can say from experience that working in black and white is much easier. Your eyes aren’t required to take in as much information. You’re focusing on darks and lights rather than colors as well as darks and lights. I think in the end it’s all a matter of preferences and I’m certainly willing to do whatever my clients wish.

Q5 - Malinda Prudhomme - A Mark Of Beauty

A Mark of Beauty

IFWA.. Your portraits of women really captures their personality . Who are those women and why them? 

Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you! When I first began doing portraiture I had to prove my skill so I would often work from images of models and actresses who had inspired me in some way. Now that I’ve gathered a following and people are confident in my skills I am able to put calls out to the public for images. Generally when I’m working on a new series I’ll post throughout social media asking for submissions of beauty stating that all women are welcome to apply. From these submissions I am able to choose, sometimes at random, who will be represented in my new works. I LOVE this! This was certainly a goal I had in mind when I first started because I truly want to show “everyday” women just how stunning they really are. So yes! They absolutely can be people I don’t know and have been! Anyone can submit to my calls! The more the merrier. :)

Q1 - Malinda Prudhomme - One And The Same

–One and the same

IFWA..Are you tempted to work with other medias then the ones you are using -mostly oil and acrylic -, say sculpture, clay, photography ?

You’re right! Most of my work is done using acrylic paint and oil paints. BUT I’m also a Mixed Media Artist so from time to time I like to pull out quite a few of my different supplies and put them together in a new series or artwork. I use pencil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor paint, gouache paint, encaustic (wax) paint, and have just begun learning airbrush. As far as sculpture and photography go … No, I’m not tempted to use them. My father is a sculptor but that just never appealed to me. I prefer working in the 2 dimensional plane. I do LOVE taking photographs, especially when I’m traveling, but I believe my shots are better used as reference photos for my artwork rather then incorporated directly into a piece. But you never know! Perhaps that will change in the future.

IFWA..Do you have any interest in working with other artist , collaborating on a common project / exhibition / performance? 

It’s definitely fun to work on collaborations with other artists as long as they have a similar work ethic. I take my work seriously so I would expect anyone I work with to feel the same way. Putting together a show with another artist and maybe creating a collaborative piece for it would certainly be something I’d be interested in.

IFWA..Is there a particular piece of work you are really satisfied with ? If so, why?

One of my favorite pieces to date is “True Beauty” ‘Delena Providence’. Why am I so satisfied with it? Hmm that’s a tough one. I believe it’s because of the look I achieved with the eyes. They are very mesmerizing. Another reason I might be so drawn to this piece is because it depicts a young woman who’s been in my life since I was toddler and I always felt she was special and worthy of being honored in this way. It could also be because this piece took a very long time to complete, putting in each strand of hair one at a time, so there is a sense of accomplishment and time well spent. And lastly because of the variety in her skin tone. Such bright whites and the dark shadows all taking shape harmoniously in one portrait is a bit of a rare thing and I like how it turned out in this piece.

Q9 - Malinda Prudhomme - True Beauty - Delena Providence

“True Beauty”,‘Delena Providence’

IFWA..What direction is your work taking , now?

I currently have an abundance of commissions I must complete so I haven’t allowed myself to go too overboard with planning original artwork/series. I do know that I would like to continue proving that a variety of women are beautiful using “everyday” women. I think that in order to change things up.

I’d like to start including geometric shapes with my portraits as a way of contrasting my realistic portrait style. I also plan to work on wood when I find the time in order to allow some of the natural grain to show through. In all truth I have a huge list of ideas I’d like to get to but for now it’s time to pay the bills. Working on commissions, while isn’t as creative, has it’s own rewards. There’s nothing like creating something that will be cherished and passed down from generation to generation.

On a smaller,scale, I’ve done collaborative works with my fan base, many of which are artists themselves. I held a contest this past year where anyone was able to take my initial drawing and turn it into their own artwork. It was amazing seeing all the different outcomes. You can check it out HERE.

 

Website: www.MalindaPrudhomme.com                                      www. Facebook.com/MalindaPrudhomme                                                                                           Twitter: www.Twitter.com/MalindaArt                                                                                            Instagram: www.Instagram.com/MalindaPrudhomme                                                                        Etsy: www.MalindaPrudhomme.Etsy.com                                                                                                Blog: www.MalindaPrudhomme.Blogspot.com

Artemisia Gentileschi, Her paintings were influenced by bad memories

Artemisia Gentileschi

(July 8, 1593 – c. 1656)

Her paintings were influenced by bad memories

Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome on 8 July 1593, the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi. Artemisia was introduced to painting in her father’s workshop, showing much more talent than her brothers, who worked alongside her. She learned drawing, how to mix color, and how to paint. Since her father’s style took inspiration from Caravaggio during that period, her style was just as heavily influenced in turn. Her approach to subject matter was different from her father’s, however, as her paintings are highly naturalistic, where Orazio’s are idealized. Orazio was a great encouragement to his daughter since, during the seventeenth century, women were considered lacking the intelligence to work. At the same time, Artemisia had to resist the “traditional attitude and psychological submission to this brainwashing and jealousy of her obvious talent” *. By doing so, she gained great respect and recognition for her work.
*Bissell, Ward R. Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art: Critical Reading and Catalogue Raisonne. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

Artemisia_Gentileschi_-_Self-Portrait_as_a_Lute_Player

 Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, 1615–1617, Artemisia Gentileschi
tumblr_marhekFzcU1rq5o2oo1_1280
Susanna and the Elders, her first work, 1610, Artemisia Gentileschi
The first work of the young seventeen-year-old Artemisia was the Susanna e i Vecchioni (Susanna and the Elders) (1610, Schönborn collection in Pommersfelden). At the time, some influenced by the prevailing misconceptions, suspected that she was helped by her father. The painting shows how Artemisia assimilated the realism of Caravaggio without being indifferent to the language of the Bologna school, which had Annibale Carracci among its major artists. It is one of the few paintings on the theme of Susanna showing the sexual accosting by the two Elders as a traumatic event.
                                             캡처Judith Slaying Holofernes, 1611–1612, Artemisia Gentileschi/Judith Slaying Holofernes,1614–1620, Artemisia Gentileschi
In 1611, her father was working with Agostino Tassi to decorate the vaults of Casino della Rose inside the Pallavicini Rospigliosi Palace in Rome, so Orazio hired the painter to tutor his daughter privately. During this tutelage, Tassi raped Artemisia. Another man, Cosimo Quorlis, was also involved. After the initial rape, Artemisia continued to have sexual relations with Tassi, with the expectation that they were going to be married and with the hope to restore her dignity and her future. Tassi reneged on his promise to marry Artemisia. Nine months after the event, when he learnt that Artemisia and Tassi were not going to be married, Orazio pressed charges against Tassi. Orazio also claimed that Tassi stole a painting of Judith from the Gentileschi household. The major issue of this trial was the fact that Tassi had taken Artemisia’s virginity. If Artemisia had not been a virgin before Tassi raped her, the Gentileschis would not have been able to press charges. During the ensuing seven-month trial, it was discovered that Tassi had planned to murder his wife, had enjoined in adultery with his sister-in-law, and planned to steal some of Orazio’s paintings. During the trial, Artemisia was subjected to a gynecological examination and torture using thumbscrews to verify her testimony. At the end of the trial Tassi was sentenced to imprisonment for one year, although he never served the time. The trial influenced the feminist view of Artemisia Gentileschi during the late twentieth century.
* Thumbscrew (torture); A victim’s thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners’ big toes. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the thumbs and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. Larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to crush feet and ears.
                                               캡처Judith I, 1901, Gustav Klimt/Judith Beheading Holofernes 1598–1599, Michelangelo da Caravaggio
This event became her anger and she expressed the anger in her paintings. Also, in her pictures which represent *Judith Beheading Holofernes, She drew all faces of Judith as hers face and Holofernes are Tassi on her paintings. Unlike other ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’, Judith looks like a strong woman and she has a tenacious grip. Usually, Judith had been expressed as a weak and fascinating woman in those days. For example, Gustav Klimt drew Judith as a fascinating femme fatale. Also, Michelangelo da Caravaggio drew Judith as a weak and delicate woman.
*The book of Judith: The Book of Judith has a tragic setting that appealed to Jewish patriots and it warned of the urgency of adhering to Mosaic law, generally speaking, but what accounted for its enduring appeal was the drama of its narrative. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life.
That she was a woman painting in the seventeenth century and that she was raped and participated in prosecuting the rapist, long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. For many years she was regarded as a curiosity. Today she is regarded as one of the most progressive and expressionist painters of her generation.

Gentileschi_judith1

Judith and her Maidservant, 1613–1614, Artemisia Gentileschi
Because Artemisia returned again and again to violent subject matter such as Judith and Holofernes, a repressed-vengeance theory has been postulated. Some art historians suggest however, that she was shrewdly taking advantage of her fame from the rape trial to cater to a niche market in sexually charged, female-dominant art for male patrons.

Self-portrait_as_the_Allegory_of_Painting_by_Artemisia_Gentileschi

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), 1638-1639, Artemisia Gentileschi
The most recent critic, starting from the difficult reconstruction of the entire catalogue of the Gentileschi, tried to give a less reductive reading of the career of Artemisia, placing it more accurately in the context of the different artistic environments in which the painter actively participated. A reading such as this restores Artemisia as an artist who fought with determination—using the weapon of personality and of the artistic qualities—against the prejudices expressed against women painters; being able to introduce herself productively in the circle of the most respected painters of her time, embracing a series of pictorial genres that probably were more ample and varied than her paintings suggest.
Source:
http://terms.naver.com/entry.nhn?docId=1148522&cid=40942&categoryId=34395
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_Gentileschi#Florentine_period_.281614.E2.80.931620.29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravaggio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumbscrew_(torture)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith

Suzanne Valadon, a French pioneer female artist

Suzanne Valadon

(1865-1938)

A daughter of an unmarried laundress turned into a model, the model turned into a painter.

The daughter of an unmarried laundress, Valadon began working at age 11 after a short attendance to primary school and worked in a variety of areas including a milliner’s workshop, a factory making funeral wreaths, a market selling vegetables, a waitress in a restaurant, and then finally in the circus. Valadon became a circus acrobat at the age of fifteen, but a year later, a fall from a trapeze ended that career. In the Montmartre quarter of Paris, she pursued her interest in art, first working as a model for artists, observing and learning their techniques, before becoming a noted painter herself.

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Photo of Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938)
캡처
Valadon debuted as a model in 1880 in Montmartre at age 15. She modeled for over 10 years for many different artists including the following: Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes, Théophile Steinlen, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. She modeled under the name “Maria” and was thought to have had many affairs with the artists she modeled for. She was considered seductive, provocative, comely, voluptuous, and flighty as a model. Toulouse-Lautrec nicknamed her “Suzanne” after the biblical story of Susanna and the Elders. She was considered a very focused, ambitious, rebellious, determined, self-confident, and passionate woman. She was also known to be good friends with Edgar Degas. In the early 1890s she befriended Degas who, impressed with her bold line drawings and fine paintings, purchased her work and encouraged her efforts. She remained one of Degas’s closest friends until his death.

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Dance at Bougival, 1883, by Renoir
The most recognizable image of Valadon would be in Renoir’s Dance at Bougival from 1883. In the same year, Valadon gave birth to her ‘illegitimate’ son, Maurice Utrillo, at the age of 18. Later, the son became famous artist like his mother.
In 1885, Renoir painted her portrait again as Girl Braiding Her Hair. Another of his portraits of her in 1885, Suzanne Valadon, is of her head and shoulders in profile. Valadon frequented the bars and taverns of Paris along with her fellow painters, and she was Toulouse-Lautrec’s subject in his oil painting The Hangover.

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Flowers on a Round Table, 1920, by Suzanne Valadon
Her first exhibitions, held in the early 1890s, consisted mostly of portraits. She regularly showed work at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris. Valadon’s first time in the Société nationale des beaux-arts; National Society of Fine Art was in 1894. Degas was notably the first person to buy drawings from her. Degas also taught her the skill of soft-ground etching. In 1896, Valadon became a full-time painter after her marriage to Paul Moussis. She made a shift from drawing to painting during her initial affair with Andre Utter starting in 1909. Her first large oils for the Salon were related to sexual pleasure, and they were some of the first examples in painting for the man to be an object of desire by a woman. These notable Salon paintings include Adam et Eve (Adam and Eve) (1909), La joie de vivre (Joy of Living) (1911), Lancement du filet (Casting of the Net) (1914). Valadon produced around 300 drawings and over 450 oil paintings by the end of her life. Valadon painted still lifes, portraits, flowers, and landscapes that are noted for their strong composition and vibrant colors.

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Nudes, 1919, by Suzanne Valadon

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Casting of the Net, 1914, by Suzanne Valadon

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Reclining Nude, 1928, by Suzanne Valadon
She was, however, best known for her candid female nudes, particularly because it was unusual in the nineteenth century for a woman artist to make female nudes her primary subject matter.
Suzanne Valadon died of a stroke on 7 April 1938, at age 72. Among those in attendance at her funeral were her friends and colleagues André Derain, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque.

Source:

Wikipedia.org
Wikiart.org

MARIE BOURGET: A San Francisco Based Painter

Interviewed by Gabriella Alziari

“I made a conscious decision to leave a successful and lucrative business career in order to do what I love… Generally there is no place I would rather be than my studio.”

-Marie Bourget

Marie Bourget was born in Santa Monica, California. After a successful career in high-tech she followed her true passion for art to Paris where she received her BA degree in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design (Ecole Parsons). Upon her return to the US she began an in-depth exploration of patterns- especially those of the Islamic world which still fascinate and preoccupy her time. 

Tell us about yourself and your artwork.

Being a visual artist I would much rather have my work speak for itself than talk about it, however I will tell you that I’m a second generation Californian born in Santa Monica. I spent eight years in Paris, France during which time I went to art school at Parsons. This experience influenced my point of view about form and content and began to shape my work into something much richer than if I’d just rented a studio and started painting. Having an international experience influenced my ideas about the world and later informed my Islamic series.

Most of my work shows my near obsession with patterns though I am equally obsessed by chance. I like to have a certain amount of randomness in my work so I have several set of dice I use when I want to take an undirected course. I do this as a kind of artistic practice.

How did your journey as an artist begin?

My childhood dream was to be a fashion designer. When I started at art school in Paris each of the various disciplines presented their programs. Opening his presentation, the Dean of Fine Arts said only one thing, “If you don’t know what fine arts means then this is not the discipline for you”. I wasn’t exactly sure what the fine arts were but I was nonetheless intrigued. And here I am now, a painter.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I have more inspiration than time. Sometimes I’m inspired just by looking out the window of my studio in San Francisco onto Mission Street. Of course, my Islamic Works Series was inspired by current events— specifically the 2003 US led invasion of Iraq.

Step Out of Line I

Step Out of Line I

What is your favorite medium to work with? Why?

Sand paper is probably the most essential media I use. I would be lost without it. Because my work depends on many layers and ends with a very smooth surface I paint primarily on wood panels or other hard surfaces where I can sand as I paint. I’ll use just about any water-based media at hand including acrylic paint, graphite, colored pencils, charcoal, adhered paper and water colors.

Describe your creative process.

I have only a general idea of what I’ll paint before I get started. Any sketching I do ends up being a part of the finished project, even if the work goes in a completely different direction. Sometimes I’ll draw and redraw the same image numerous times; even with purely geometric designs there are several iterations. My work depends on the repeated application and removal of paint. The residue and traces remaining from earlier applications are an integral part of each work.

Poets To Come

Poets To Come

Can you tell us about your use of color?

I feel that color is made to be put through its paces! I either use a hundred colors or very few. I love reading about color and trying out unusual combinations. I’m interested in the absence of and subtlety of color combinations or the saturation of many colors and their interactions.

In your Islamic Works project, you incorporated Whitman’s poetry and translated it into Iraqi. Can you tell us more about this process?

One of the most insidious aspects of war is the dehumanization of the enemy, especially when we know nothing of the culture or history of our perceived opponent. In a plea for tolerance I used the combination of Islamic design and Arabic script (specifically excerpts of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass translated into Iraqi) in a series of paintings. The inclusion of these excerpts as Arabic script was important to me on both a personal and an artistic level.

I wanted Whitman’s poetry for this project because of his iconic status as an American poet who was also a celebrated unifier and embracer of cultures and customs. It took me almost two years to finally track down a copy of a translation but it was such an integral part of this work that I didn’t start painting until I found it.

Walt Whitman I

Walt Whitman I

What was the most significant thing that you learned from your Botanicals project?

Botanical shapes— flowers, leaves, vines— are some of the first things we draw as children. We often learn how to draw these items from copying other pictures and do this without looking at the actual subject at hand. It was important to me to relearn these designs by looking at plants with intent, not copying them, but understanding them and then reinterpreting them.

Storage Jar I

Storage Jar I

How has being an artist influenced your life? 

It’s the fulfillment of dream. I made a conscious decision to leave a successful and lucrative business career in order to do what I love. Now painting is my job and I have the same disciplined work ethic that I had in my earlier career. I set out creative challenges and tasks which inspire me to create new bodies of work. Generally there is no place I would rather be than my studio.

Do you find that your surroundings inform your work?

I titled one of my paintings We Breathe the Air that is in Front of our Face. It paraphrases a quote I read long ago and could never forget. So, yes, my surroundings inform my work. In what way I am not quite sure, but I can guarantee you that if I were back in Paris my work would be different that it is today.

Gray Interference

Gray Interference

Is it challenging to be a woman in your field? If so, how have you overcome previous challenges?

I find that I am not that sensitive to this issue (even though I very proudly call myself a feminist). My work is my work and it has been shaped by all that I have experienced. The fact that we live in a male dominated society certainly has its influences but it’s not something that overtly challenges me.

Are you working on anything currently?

Amongst other things I’m working on a series of prints for the al-Mutanabbi Street project. It is a project commemorating the 2007 bombing of the historic center of Bagdad book-selling. It’s a challenging project for me, because I am not a print maker and need not only to learn a new skill, but also to look at my process from the opposite direction— no sandpaper allowed! It’s also exciting to be invited to be a part of this wonderful project that promotes the very thing that my Islamic Series is about.

Learn more about Marie Bourget here. Check out her Facebook page, too!

Presented by the International Foundation for Women Artists.

Interview / Valérie Telesca

My creations reveal my aesthetic emotions as well as my inner perpetual questioning about human identity, throughout existential hurts and the process of constant rebirth.

– Valérie Telesca

Packet8

Packet8

Born in Lille, France, Valérie Telesca lives and works in France. Her plastic project focuses on the idea of packaging in its allegorical meaning of “social ornament”, but more specifically revolves around its paradoxes. Interpreted in its primary sign origin, this packaging becomes alternately the cocoon announcing the birth, the plastic ecstasy of a metamorphosis, or a lure capable of modifying the identity by a change of shape. In her work of art, the matters are exploited as substances which are strongly metamorphic or, on the contrary, exposed in a starkness which makes them sacred.

After having worked for a long time on the colour considered as a second skin which socializes the matter, the artist anchors her approach in an identity dimension : That of the nature of things and of their metamorphosis, in its exuberance and its fragility.

Valérie Telesca expresses herself in the very matter of her object stemming from the packaging of which she modifies the resistance.Contrary to a claim of ephemeral art, her works of art fall within the dynamics of a time which makes them accomplish the challenge of lasting.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Born in France in 1968, I have Italian origins. First a photographer, then a painter, I have worked for a long time on the colour considered as a second skin which socializes the matter. My plastic project now focuses on materials as strongly metamorphic substances.

I was not born an artist. In fact, my calling came quite late and unexpectedly. I have found my own techniques through work and experimentation. Every artist is an alchemist researcher…

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

In my artistic career, photography was a first stage. It taught me a certain sensibility as well as a perception of measures. It also gave me a kind of “adjustment” of my vision to the world: its shapes and its colours.
My approach articulates around the concept of “packaging”, in its allegorical dimension, as a social finery distorting the nature of things. My questioning concerns its limits and its contradictions, its capacity to hide, to transform or to reveal the internal material. This came throughout my journeys abroad, observing people…

Package

Package

Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

All my “series” correspond to states of my life. I have a preference for the series ” Nude ” which represents what it would remain, once the skin removed. The envelope merges with the internal matter, naked. Reign of the no color or the absolute, ostentatious and assumed color, freed from the codes of the sociability. This series looks like me a little.

Nude

Nude

What do you think the artist is in society?

That of raising questions in sharing a sensitive perception of the world  that we all compose. Experimentation is a kind of resistance, a resilience. To overtake the limits, open new doors, wonder about what is beyond the experience, to refuse the comfort for a risk which is maybe worth it. The art is for me a vehicle for communication in interacting with the others who express their own emotions and comment on mine. We learn a lot from each other..

What’s the best thing about being a woman artist?

…Would you ask a man what’s the best thing about being a male artist…?

What is the most difficult part of being a female artist?

To be obliged to define myself as a “female” artist…!

In fact, I was the co-founder and of an association of women. The aim was to help women in developing their professional independent activity, considering that women have more difficulty in dealing with their career as they have to deal with many other tasks.

How do you manage in such a situation?

We have to surpass ourselves…

Did you ever feel like giving up?

Everyday! Then everyday makes me understand that art IS my life…You don’t decide to do art. Art snatches you up.

Installation

Installation

How do you look at your previous pieces?

They are part of my process. I consider them a step that made me grow up.

How does your cultural background affect your work?

For me, the “matter adventure” is first of all a perception of the world, a propensity to look beyond the surface, open the dialog which opens the field of the possible.

I am native from a South where the ground, both feeder and engulfing, shapes the aesthetics of the landscape and there the matter dresses an identity dimension. That of the nature of things. That of the vital metamorphosis.

My creations reveal my aesthetic emotions as well as my inner perpetual questioning about human identity, throughout existential hurts and the process of constant rebirth.

Cocoons

Cocoons

What is your dream project?

A monumental installation in the beautiful, exceptional landscape of Basilicata, in Italy, My homeland.

What is up and coming for you, as projects?

I am working on a project with two other Italian artists about the concept of Chrysalis.
I should expose at the Marrakech contemporary museum, then in Trieste (Italy) in 2014.

What do you want to do next?

Sculpture !

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Visit Valérie’s website and Women Artists of the World!

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Presented by International Foundation for Women Artists