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8 Questions with Françoise Nielly

 
Françoise Nielly is a French knife-painter who is famous for painting vibrant and colourful closeup portraits of people such as Barack Obama. Françoise Nielly’s artwork is typically vibrant, and detailed. A lot of her work is inspired by urban life. Françoise uses knives to paint her artwork as she seems to prefer the thick, clean brushstrokes created by them. Painting portraits is her speciality. As a child, she was taught by her father that there was “no room for mistakes”, and this has potentially influenced the intricacy of her artwork. She layers her paintings with bright and contrasting colour.
 
 

1. How did you realize you knew how to draw?  Did you always know?

Having been born in artist’s family, my father being an architect always had the pleasure and the comfort to draw, so since the childhood I draw. It was innate with me. But it is not to draw in a representational way.

 

2. Describe your technique, which is very unique.

Well beyond the technique which is a system of coat and coat and coat. There is a powerful instinctive energy and different I know practically always or I have to cut, put some red of the green. For it is needed a lot of energy and It does not learn, people who copy me must know it.

 

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3. How do you choose the colors?

I don’t choose colors, globally, I love all my paintings, they impose upon me following the periods.

 

4. What is your favorite work, and, have you ever painted someone you are really proud of?

My preferred it is often the last one, like a mother with her children.  My favorite painting will thus be the last one before my death. I am particularly proud of my painting of OBAMA and Charles De Gaulle others I am proud of it also but they are not known people.

 

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5. Non-conventional paintings: cars, other surfaces…

I adore the atypical projects, unfortunately when you work with knifes It is not always practicable.

 

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6. What paintings do you have in your home?

I have a painting abstract whose name is Trauma and another whose is Untitled 741.

 

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7. Who are your favorite artists?

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hans Hartung, Giovanni Boldini, Lucian Freud, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Philipe Pasqua, Jenny Saville, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan etc… There are a lot of artist that I like but I look for my own inspiration.

 

8. Future paintings?

God only knows. The decoration of a big Parisian hotel.

 

 

  • Once you’ve built your reputation on a particular signature style, it can be hard to wriggle your way out of the straitjacket of your own brand identity. After all, where does distinctively recognizable end and stalely repetitious begin? (Judith Palmer)