Tête Pubienne, 2016 huile sur toile, 92 x 73 cm

Raphaëlle Ricol – unknotting the present

#AnInterview. Inspired by graphic novels, urban art and classical painting, Raphaëlle Ricol paints a world of images that are a paradoxical mix of violence and tenderness. She agreed to a little chat with KALTBLUT. She’ll be a part of the group show « I am what I am » at the Ici Gallery in Paris, opening on the 8th of February.

Mon frère 1978, acrylique sur toile, 120 x 120 cm, 2005

KB: In your work, I see a heavy influence from the American contemporary painting: Philip Guston or Cecily Brown for example. Is it a legacy that you embrace? How do you feel about the american painting?

RP: I started to paint around 2000-2001, and then I didn’t know Philip Guston. Years later, I discovered for the first time his painting HEAD AND BOTTLE on an art magazine. I felt something hitting me in the hears. I don’t think that American painting specifically influenced me, but as a child, I read Comics USA a lot, and that had an impact on my memory.

Le Ciel Sans Abri, 2006 & 2016 technique mixte sur toile, 146 x114 cm

KB: What about French painting?

RP: The French Revolution sparked new ideas and inspired the new generations of French artists like the Avant-Garde, Surrealists and Expressionists because they fought against academic art. It’s hard to untie myself from those art movements. I’m looking for the exit though…

La Belle et La Bête, huile sur toile, 46 x 27 cm, 2016

KB: You said that you’re living painting as a clash or a confrontation. Is it still your sentiment?

RP: Yes, always.

KB: Hyper contemporary Pop and Queer culture is very present in your work. Do you think we’re progressing socially or rather going backwards?

RP: Socially speaking… The social question is not for painting. I try to put things in perspective from the society, so not to fall in the trap of appearances and immediacy. Once I’m not working on an automatic mode, I can sometimes grasp new facets that are hidden and free from the system of the one-track thinking.

L’homme sur l’eau, huile sur toile, 35 x 27 cm, 2016

KB: What is your favorite place to think about a new painting?

RP: In the corner of a bar counter, with an espresso.

La fessée, huile sur toile, 16 x 22 cm 2016

KB: What’s the sense of art?

RP: Free will. And also to deconstruct nature. To explore the deconstructed nature and then find the visible in nature.

Alexandre au Pays des merveilles, huile sur toile, 200 x 162 cm, 2014

KB: What did you think about the Leonardo da Vinci which got sold for 450 M€?

RP: The older the wine, the most expensive it gets. If we talk about the work « Salvator Mundi », I think that the figure of Jesus is very feminized because of his golden locks. Leonardo da Vinci observed and studied the movements of water and waves above the water that are closely linked to the hair of his models in his paintings. It’s a success. The crystal ball, top! Beautiful gesture of the right hand. It’s not the price of the painting that makes it spectacular but the work of Leonardo da Vinci!

D-construction, acrylique sur toile, 162 x 130 cm 2017
Other works are visible here:
Raphaelle Ricol will also be a part of the show « DIX » in the Patricia Dorfmann gallery until the 24th of February

Coming up: The movie based on Raphaëlle Ricol’s work at the atelier on Arte Creative:


A group show on self-portrait organized by Julie Crenn in Belleville:

« I am what I am », ICI.GALLERY, 8 rue Jouye-Rouve 75020 Paris, France

8.02.2018 – 17.03.2018