Margaux Derhy is such a dear friend. She grew up in France before attending the incredible Central St Martins for her Master's degree in London. She creates her dynamic, fresh and vibrant works from photographs. They are deeply personal and moving, but light and fun in equal measure.
‘Intimacy, grief, healing, the passage of life – my work deals with these subjects which I find are strangely absent from contemporary fine art, although they comprise so much of the subject matter of the contemporary film, photography and literature. Our world today cannot be understood without taking into account the psychological and emotional aspects of people. By developing very personal workaround self-mythology, illusionism and a bit of fantasy playing with perception and truth, I propose a pictorial work that is a tribute to filial and brotherly love.’
– Margaux Dehry
Margaux, it is so lovely to talk to you about your work. First of all: how would you describe your work in 3 words?
I will probably use the three words that are usually used by people when they interact with my work: melancholia, uncanny and fluorescent. I would be happy to receive your feedback on those three words after discovering my work as it is not the easiest part for an artist to describe with words our own work… do not hesitate to contact me on my Instagram if you want to complete or contradict this choice!
And tell us about your use of colour?
Colour is an important parameter for me. Probably the most important parameter or the one I manage to think about the most natural all the time when I paint.
I have been spending hours reading a theory of colours (From Goethe’s “Theory of Colours” to Kandinsky ‘s “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” and recently Michel Pastoureau last essay about the yellow) and all my choices are guided by those lectures mixed now with experience, instinct and my own personality.
"Melancholia, Uncanny, Fluorescent"
What is your earliest memory involving art?
No doubt about it… I would say a crush for a Gauguin painting (Two Tahitian women - 1899) during a trip with my dad in New-York at the Metropolitan at probably 12 years old… to be honest, it was not even a crush it was my first orgasm! I am still really amazed to see how the tones and the colour palette of the clothes are still so much in echo with my own work today… For example, I tend to play a lot with a blue not far from the indanthrene blue (with a tiny bit of red inside) of this painting and this light cobalt blue really works powerfully on my emotional brain.
Favourite historical female artist?
Plenty as I am really curious about art women history… the one I want to share here is probably the Russian poet Lou Andreas-Salomé. When I discovered her work as a teenager, I understood the inner strength that is needed to follow an independent path and how creativity has an intense liberating power… it was by discovering her life that I found the freedom to paint a few years later…
Favourite practising women artist?
Mollie, I can’t manage to give only one:/ … I will make one then: she has Tracey Emin’s daring, Marlène Dumas’ energy, Billie Zangewa’s sensitivity, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s love for the people, Zanele Muholi’s courage, the outspoken of Sophie Calle, my grandmother's great intellect and the hope of all the potential talents.
What is your inspiration?
I tend to spend a lot of my time reading women biography that gives me strengths and discovering talents on your account @she_curates_, travelling to different places (especially morocco where my dad is from and where I run a small artists residency @massastory that is very much feeding my appetite for discoveries) and of course I keep a really high curiosity thanks to all my incredible talented mates at @rca_painting!