- Would you introduce yourself in a few words?
Nathalie Harvey, French-American; I came to Paris from my native South to study when I was 18. After I got my diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Decorative Arts School) in Paris, I went straight to the U.S. to show my work. I met an artists’ agent with whom I worked in Seattle (my family is from there). A few great years with a foot on each continent. A lot of travels too, everywhere, during my studies and during these wandering years. Full of these experiences and travels I came back to Paris to establish –re-establish—myself. This early path is quite representative; it’s everything and the other, double in education and culture. I studied because I was afraid to be a painter but I started right away once my diploma in hand. I am double: inside and outside of my workshop, in my inspirations and my desires, my satisfactions and my critique. And today, I’m both painter and gallery owner.
My balance is right and when I’m perfectly balanced between two tensions; that’s when I know my painting is done, that I am in the right place.
In September 2013, I opened a place Obrose*, my workshop/gallery. Most of the time it’s my workshop, and a gallery where I show artists I like, who respond to a precise theme for each exhibition. It’s a way to redeploy my pictorial gesture, with a true power to act, a logical continuity to this essence that is questioning me.
- Where does this attraction to painting come from?
I come from a little village, full of big artists, St Paul de Vence; so it would be logical if it came from there, of course it must have something to do with it, but my first artistic emotion came from my first course on nudes. An incredible drawing sensation, which evolved toward painting, then into an obstinate search mixing exploring color and matter, I then grab some timeless images of Art History to explore some kind of resistance.
- What is your work’s operative word in your mind?
I don’t know a single word that would cover desire, pleasure, feeling, color, discovering and transcending yourself.
- What are your inspirations?
Music while I paint, art history when I’m searching. So many contemporary artists that the list would be too long, even those whose work I’m not crazy about but whose thinking I like.
- What is your favorite painting that we’ll get to admire at your exhibit and why?
Right now, Sticky Fingers is my favorite I find it sexy and weird, its tension is perfectly balanced, in contrast with the origin of its inspiration: Gabrielle d’Estrée, a painter who remained anonymous but marked art history.
- What are your future projects?
From June 4th to 20th, the “Crossover” exhibition at the Obrose gallery, 11 rue St Bernard 75011. “Crossover” includes many practices highlighted through the artistic meeting of different personalities, with a starting point of re-appropriating artisan or traditional techniques, of which the works show pattern similarities or, on the contrary, radically opposed methods. For this exhibition, I’m presenting Poline Harbali, Julien des Monstiers, Régis-R, Cyril Le Van, Dune Varela, Nadia Yosmayan and myself.
On September 27, 2015, the Le Braque restaurant will come to Obrose for a candle-lit Epicurean dinner, The Last Supper style, to discover my paintings inspired by art history, a unique experience (Editor’s note: by reservation only).
In October/November 2015, a Porn exhibit at Obrose; this exhibit I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but its organization is accelerating as a result of a City hall censorship of one of my exhibits last December, just because some –very discreet—nipples could be seen.
In December 2015/January 2016, I will do a residency in Mexico, a project focusing on the Mayan culture, that will be later exhibited. Other projects in Bali and Singapore are in the process of being set up for 2016 and 2017.
Sometime in 2016, a “Home Sweet Home” part 2 out of 4 exhibitions that I organized in collaboration with the artist Régis-R in 2013/2014 at Obrose. We’d like to reiterate “Home Sweet Home” because, in addition to having been a very nice exhibit, it includes art, design, crafts, a very dear mix to us.
*Obrose is “the pink observatory of fleeting laughter and discombobulated communications, that harvest fragile, sublime, loud and disorderly, symbolic or real instants that hit, seduce or provoke a gaze so that the energy contained in what is raw and beautiful lights up.