I am a neoOutsider artist. I’m a Southerner who came to art late in life as the result of personal trauma. My work is infused with my belief in God whose hand guides me.
Born in 1965 in Paris. Self-taught artist. I live in Rennes (Brittany, France)
In 1986, I created with Bathelemy Schwartz the revue Dorénavant, one of the first avant-garde revue of comics theory: this revue (1986 – 1988) proposed a new definition of the comic strip as a simple juxtaposition of pictures. Also, were included with the comics some paintings of Klee, Kandinsky or Picasso. This statement was also a way to create a new connection between comics and paintings: what was at stake then, was not the graphics (like for Lichtenstein or Combas) but the division of the canvas. Thanks to this, the painting would find again its very old and deep temptation: the illusion of time, which can create a narrative or a musical dimension.
The French comics’ world reacted sometimes with curiosity but most of the time with rejection. The art world ignored it.
From 1988 to 2006, I gave up painting and drawing and rather liked to write novels and essays.
Katie Willes is a self-taught abstract expressionist. Her degree was in Chemistry, but her art education started in museums across Europe. With a passion for art herself, Katie’s mother took her to museums on every vacation and weekend trip during Katie’s teenage years, when Katie’s father was stationed at an Army hospital in Germany. Katie’s love for art continued and she takes her own children to museums in every new city and country they visit.
Despite her appreciation for art, Katie always thought of herself as a left-brained person. Her interest in abstract was piqued with her first visit to the MoMA in New York. When her oldest went away to college and studied art, Katie started painting as a way to connect with her. That sparked a passion that has blazed like wildfire. With an innate eye for color and design, Katie’s paintings also reflect her optimism and happy personality.
My own work is deeply steeped in the European classical tradition, drawing much more inspiration in terms of form, lighting, composition, and atmosphere from the Renaissance and Baroque era than it draws from any contemporary art movement. It is completely figurative, with no abstraction, though with human figures that are slightly caricatured. My individual voice as an artist is opting for a more “conservative backlash” against the contemporary art scene and separates itself from the more sleek, stylized, graphic design look of contemporary artists. The figures lack the mass amounts of chiseled detail that are hallmarks of European Renaissance painting and sculpture, but instead exist as smooth, rubbery figures sitting in a Baroque inspired environment.
I consider myself to be an “outsider artist” because I never went to art school, I’m self taught, and I own my voice through art making. I appreciate the creative process because it’s a way for me to grow and learn. I am very drawn to abstract style and I love to use many different colors in a thick, bold way. I want to catch people’s attention with my full color palette and thick, textured style.