From the studio: Alexis Ralaivao

Studio Visit

An extract from 'Intimacy, Portrayed', Juxtapoz Magazine

Over the years, Ralaivao spontaneously switched his interest in communication towards painting and art in general and the recent lockdown period turned to be the final nail in the coffin of that shift. Unburdened with institutional or educational influences or directions, he is entirely focused on making the type of work that he would like to see. And the lockdown circumstances in his hometown of Rennes were the perfect opportunity to start creating such work. Spending days in a small apartment together with his partner, he started painting a visual diary that captured those intimate moments.
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"I like painting people. I like painting flesh and I feel like I haven't seen too many paintings where you feel close to someone. Like, if you are laying in bed with the person, so close that you only see a portion of her or his body. In classical portraiture, there is a distance between the public and the person represented. I want to erase that distance in some of my paintings. Plus painting flesh is always joyful. It is tricky to achieve; there are many ways to do it, but when it works, it is magical and fulfilling."
"My paintings are like a diary. At first, I tried to do paintings based on staged photographs, but I didn't like the feek. There was something wrong. I like it when people don't know they are being photographed or painted because they act differently when they do know. So I based my work on pictures that weren't intentionally taken specifically for paintings. And often I use just a small portion of the photograph, just a detail that makes me feel something."
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