Murielle Vanhove is a French artist whose parents owned a Parisien Bar. Murielle spent a good portion of her childhood watching people walk past the bar; during the rush hours, she observed unknown people jostling and passing each other and the frenetic rhythm fascinated her. During her studies at Penninghen, she experienced a complete education in painting, drawing and photography which led her to working with publicity agencies. She later became a teacher before switching to painting full time in the suburbs of Paris. Murielle has a number of interests including walking with her dog, skiing, taking photos and spending time with her family. Recently, she discussed her experiences working as an artist:
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Murielle Vanhove (MV): I did not decide to be an artist on one specific day. It was the public and art gallery owners who made me realize that I am an artist. I followed art studies, I have always loved creating… It was a good start.
MM: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
MV: Concerning the masters: I admire Manet and Sorolla for their light treatment, Bonnard, Matisse for their colours and Lucian Freud for his reality. As you can imagine I am aware of figurative painting especially human figurative painting. Amongst the contemporary artists, Alex Kanevsky’s paintings fascinate me and all the painters who gravitate around those who the artist F. Scott Hess names “Discombobulation” in painting. I admire the force in the paintings of Fabienne Verdier, Yan Pei Ming and so many others.
MM: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
MV: My work is a testimony of our active lives: the street, individual people and the crowd. Snapshots of our time, details of clothing and marks of our society. People enter the frames as entering onto a stage but are completely anonymous. Their faces are not shown and yet they seem familiar to us. I like to capture an instant moment in time but also the previous and following moment. On my canvas, I strongly fix the grace of a movement, the elegance of a body. Colour is a game. Light appears on the canvas to assume all its place. My motto is “work in progress”.
MM: How did you go about getting into galleries and/or public showcases?
MV: It is always a coincidence. I have never approached anybody but I show my work in exhibitions, artistic events and through social networks. The hasard does the rest. One day a gallery contacts me… and things happen.
MM: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
MV: Perhaps one of my first works. I always forgive its clumsiness but because of it I began to believe in my painting. A figure in a raincoat on a red background. Very often when a canvas comes back to the studio after an exhibition I modify it, or start again. It does not satisfy me anymore. My critical look, my exigence changes very quickly. However, the man in the raincoat remains the same.
MM: When and how did you develop your specific style?
MV: My subject has always been the same: characters. At the beginning, they were always static then slowly they have started to move, walk, crossing paths, and running. Perhaps my perception of a citadin life. After a while I understood they were only a pretext of what really fascinates me, painting movement.
MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
MV: Last Spring, during “After Puls’art” a French contemporary art event we were five artists, each painting outside in front of the general public for two days a square canvas of 1.5m
I loved painting like this, despite the limited time, the adrenaline was so stimulating. I need at some moments in time to take a risk with my paintings. Then create without a smartphone at my side, no e-mails, free…This does not happen often! I was focused on the gest of painting.?This creation “Julia” is very important to me.
MM: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
MV: Paint all the time, work hard every day. Do not touch everything at the same time, dissociate the touch, the subject, the colors harmony, the story. Be aware of other artists, try to understand their paintings and to better understand their own work. Lastly seek, seek, and seek again.
MM: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
MV: Yes, I’ll be taking part at the end of November in Scope Miami on the Galerie Virginie Barrou Planquart stand. After that, I do not know where my art gallery owner will show my work but my website will keep you informed.