Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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Anne-sophie Plume

Artist Bio

Iam a French painter. I come from a scientific background, and have a Bachelor in Sustainable Development followed by a master’s degree in Management of Innovative Technologies and European Funding. I started painting after deciding to leave my job in the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland. Having dealt with Lyme disease and depression since my early twenties, I took this break to take a shift with my life. Soon after experimenting painting on paper in my living room in 2017, I flew to Berlin with the hope to learn how to be an artist. I joined the Parkgalerie Studio and quickly got invited to a few residencies in Haiti, India, and Los Angeles. I knew by then I wanted to follow my calling to be an artist and after taking part in a Drawing and Painting marathon at the New York Studio School in 2018, I was offered a scholarship to enroll in their MFA program.
I graduated from the New York Studio School in 2020 and had several solo and group shows in the USA and in France, Haiti and India. I am now painting and living in Brooklyn. I have been awarded the Jane C. Carroll Scholarship in 2018 and 2019, and was a nominee for the Excellence and Leadership Award from the LCU Foundation in 2019.

Artist Statement

I paint from life and perception. In my portrait work, I use light as a metaphor for life, recovery and hope. I wish to catch the soul and presence of the individuals I paint, and allow the viewer to meet them in a deeper level. I want my paintings to be about the paint and most of all, I want them to be the result of my very own experience of reality.
At the moment I am working on the relationship I have with portrait painting. I have decided to use it to give a voice to people that are unseen and unheard. Having struggled with depression, my last project has therefore been to paint people who are suffering or have suffered from mental illnesses, and interview them while I paint. Many sitters have told me that it has been therapeutic for them, as they do not have many occasions to talk about their experience with their illness.
My goal is to open a dialog, free the voices, break the preconceived ideas, bring hope to people suffering now, and increase the general knowledge on mental illnesses. Even though one cannot see the pain, it is real. I want the sitter to feel seen, and the viewer to have an eye-opening experience.
In my most recent paintings of interior scenes I have been portraiting women in their everyday life. Especially after this year of staying inside, they became aware that they are visible, they are seen, and I have felt invited in their intimacy.

My aim was to see what my painting process would reveal about this genre and the social pre-occupations which drive its popularity. The actual TV storylines in which these images are entrenched sometimes offer surprising inflections and reversals of the gaze which are not obvious from a still frame but I am less interested in how these TV images fit within their text of origin than in how they function as part of a mass of repetitions.
Voyeurism is looking at a remove from the object. It is about both intimacy and distance. In the process of painting I enjoyed playing with the pull between the desire to look into a scene and barriers to vision which block and obscure the human figure.

What does “Gaze” mean to you & how do you connect it to your work?

The gaze is what I am first attracted to in a person. I need to dive in their gaze to connect to their soul. This is the reason I have been painting faces for so a couple years, asking them to look at me in the eyes. It is what allows me to open myself and gauge what the relationship is about, it is the soul’s door.
In painting, the gaze is also the viewer, looking at the work. Their interpretation of the piece, what it reflects into their eyes. In my last paintings of interior scenes I have been gazing at women in their everyday life, watching TV, or working from home. Especially after this year of staying inside, they became aware that they are visible, they are seen, and I have felt invited in their intimacy. Following the path of art history, of my favorite painters, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Giacometti, Auerbach and so many others, I wish to be part of the female gaze coming to the art field.

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