BEIRUT: Valérie Depadova, a 53-year-old French artist, mixes acrylic, pastel, ink, pencil, and collage, and reworks canvas, magazines, and old encyclopedias into her paintings. She creates colors, characters, eyes, and faces giving meaning and life into her illustrations.
Watching the process is like seeing art in action with locals getting a taste when the French artist showcased her art last Thursday at the Carré D’artistes event, in Downtown.
“I believe that It’s a one of a kind exhibition, as it’s the first time I watch an artist painting live with such a passion while using different types of art material and giving depth to the drawing,” Sarah, an art lover, told Annahar.
Depadova’s art is unique; warm in color, strong in shapes, hunched lines, asymmetrical dynamic postured characters, and reminiscent of African sculpture.
The gallery was fully populated with art lovers circling Depadova with eyes wide open enabling the artist to paint characters coming to life on an abstract background squeezed by huddled groups of people.
People outside the gallery were waiting, in turn, to take pictures and discuss the paintings with the artist. They had many thoughts on their mind as to why the characters in her drawings were female figures reflecting an African spirit.
For the artist, the characters in her work represent “universal figures of women” and not only African figures. They convey a “message of love, warmth, gentleness, and joy,” she said.
Outside the gallery, the artist explained her techniques, styles, and art material for many buyers while drawing and painting live a female character. For her, “the personal and rhythmic approach to anatomy brings about a vitality and strength that illuminates each composition.”
From an early age, Depadova drew, painted and sculpted. Being an artist was evident, natural, and a need. Her father brought back objects that fascinated her from his military missions in the heart of Africa. They inspired her pictorial work with surprising ethnic connotations.
Canvas, magazines and old encyclopedias are reworked, reprinted, sometimes beat up, wrinkled, painted and assembled in a patchwork of colors. Her paintings are light in color, isolated from their original context, and found in different meanings.
Depadova observes people with great fondness and wishes to convey a message of love, gentleness, and joy. She seems to remember that there can be warmth at the heart of winter eventually.
“Seeing the artist paint live was of great connection permitting us to know her more and allowing us to visualize the real paintings that were being displayed at the gallery,” Dania, another gallery patron, told Annahar.
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