My journey into the world of art began at the age of 14. I took black-and-white photographs that I printed myself in a dark room. This is a complex process that requires concentration and a desire to look for beauty in the most minor scenes and circumstances. I learned to focus on contrast, composition, creativity, and the beauty that lies in the eyes of the beholder.
My love for art took a back seat to my studies and my career, until I decided in 2006 to devote myself to the practice full-time. I wanted to blend my love for two different kinds of art together by painting black-and-white photos. Photography means realism and precision, and painting brings texture, and gives the artist license to modify reality.
I thought it would be easy. It turns out that doing it well is very difficult. I had to change the way I photographed, printed, and painted. I learned these techniques at Stanford University and the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto. When my family and I moved back to Paris in 2008, I took up classes at the Louvres and with individual masters, including Patrice de Pracontal and André Fisch. They taught me the most sophisticated, classical techniques of oil painting, like egg tempura and mixed emulsion (water and oil).
I don’t use digital tools in my art. I do everything by hand, using historical processes in photography, such as toning with gold or selenium. In my paintings, I use and sometimes prepare traditional mediums and pigments, such as authentic lapis lazuli.
After years of living among—and off of—ideas (with the law), it was a pleasure to create something with my hands. I love it to this day. Becoming an artist was part of my personal quest for happiness and a peaceful pace of life.
I have exhibited my paintings and photography at the National Guimet Museum in Paris, the Modern Book Gallery in Palo Alto, The Gold Coast Gallery in New York, and La Galerie Paris 1839 in Hong Kong. I was also an artist in residence at the Festival APART in St. Rémy de Provence and will exhibit my work at the Magazine Gallery in Venice, Italy in October 2020.