Rebecca’s practice is iconic for her precise treatment of paint, the interaction of viewer and subject, the matter of fact figures and desaturated colour palette. The gaze of the subject sticks with you, imprinted on your mind. They are still, the figures are strong: they are real people. They live, they vibe, they look back 👀
Talking about her figures, she said: “The figures I paint are emerging from various places. They are either friends or people I see in my daily travels. They can also be totally fictionnal. What they feel is what I think we all feel. Who are we ? What are we doing here on earth ? What is the essence of our existence? They are full of doubts, joy, sorrows, dreams, fears, beauty, anxieties... “
Rebecca, how would you describe your work in 3 words?Real, surreal, metaphorical.
Who is your favourite historical female artist?I don’t know if you can call her historical as she is alive but she Marlene Dumas is for sure My favorite female artist. She mainly paints very expressive portraits. Her art conveys the anxiety and doubts of human existence. I find her art very strong and disarming.
Who are all your favourite practicing female artists?I love the works of Amy Sherald, Jenna Gribbon and Claire Tabouret.
tell me about your artists story.Art is something that was always there around me from my early childhood. My parents were both working with films, my grand-mother was a painter and many of my parents' friends were artists. I don’t think I ever imagined I could be something else. As a young girl I wanted to be a filmmaker but I soon saw many aspects I really disliked in that field, like the fact you depend so much on others. With painting that’s the amazing thing, it’s you, the pigments, the brushes and the canvas. I don’t think there was really a Eureka moment. It’s more something that grew gradually within me and became so big that now I am totally hooked. It’s very hard for me to take breaks from painting. I miss it after a couple of days.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I guess I would be travelling the world. I know this is not a job but I think I would find something that would allow me to do so.
What do you believe is integral to the role of an artist?
I think the role of an artist is to always question the society he lives in. Art is a reflection on our time. We as artists are giving an interpretation of the world we live in. It is very important to think outside of the box and venture off the beaten tracks.
Who or what are your greatest influences? How do you find these, and how do you think these influences come out in your work?
My greatest influences are filmmakers and writers I would say.
My parents were as I said working in films and my entire childhood and teenage years were flooded with cinema classics. From Chaplin to Fassbinder, from Marcel Carné to Cocteau, from Buster Keaton to Wenders, Orson Welles to Bunuel, ..everything had to be seen...
My work has I think a very cinématographique aspect that is directly influenced by the upbringing I had.
Rebecca, the figures in your pieces, who are they? What are they feeling?
The figures I paint are emerging from various places. They are either friends or people I see in my daily travels. They can also be totally fictionnal. What they feel is what I think we all feel. Who are we ? What are we doing here on earth ? What is the essence of our existence?
They are full of doubts, joy, sorrows, dreams, fears, beauty, anxieties...
What would you change about the art world?
There are many many things I would change about the art world but one of the main things would be to open it up.
It can often appear like such a closed, arrogant impenetrable world .
Some people are afraid to enter art galleries, they feel uncomfortable...
it really shouldn’t be like that.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions, shows or initiatives?
Yes 2021 will be very busy. It will start in January with a solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery in London, followed by a group show in Milan at Cassina Projects. I will then have three more solo exhibitions, one in Paris at Septieme Gallery, one in Rome at Galeria Anna Marra and one in Lausanne at Galerie Fabienne Levy.
Could you select a piece of your work and tell us a bit about it?
The painting Belleville. This mesmerizing woman holding her baby, both wearing this bright yellow outfit.
They were standing in this building entrance next to the station Belleville in Paris.
A true vision. I was hypnotized. She saw me staring at them... something I often can’t help myself from doing.
I had to explain myself because I think that time it was really too much.
I painted her not long after. Her and her child. She is called Marie Charlotte, from Gabon.
What is your studio like? What are your artist essentials, what do you listen to etc…?
My studio is a real big mess. I am a very messy person. Even when I try to order it doesn’t work so most of the time I just give up. So basically there are piles of things everywhere, solvants, paints, linen, frames, art books and so on. The walls are covered in paint. I can’t help it. I always wipe my brushes on the wall or on the floor.
If you were to describe yourself as a colour, what colour would that be and why?
I think it might be green even though it’s not a color I use that much when I paint.
It has so many different shades and it’s so present in everyday life.
It carries out such a wide range of emotions. From very hopeful to very dark.
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time:
a) What would the meal be?
It would be breakfast, coffee and croissant. That’s the only meal I never skip.
b) Who would it be with?
I would really love to meet Balthus.
He is such a mysterious character. None of the things I read on him really made me understand who he is.
I could really share some time with him to try and figure out more of this extraordinary painter.