French Painters do it better!

Fleur Helluin, Adam & Eve, 2016

Fleur Helluin, Adam & Eve, 2016

How many artists does it take to change a light bulb? Ten. One to change it, and nine to reassure him about how good it looks.


Fleur Helluin




Fleur Helluin_SamJamme

Fleur Helluin

Who are you? What do you do?

That first question! Do we have a couple of days, loud pop music and champagne?

I’m a painter, so that’s what I do: I make images that are also objects. I observe the relationships between visual elements on a semi-flat surface, and how they are impactful or not. Since 2004, my work explores the impact of the screen-based culture on contemporary figure. My paintings are representational and incorporate the rich features linked to the use of the screen (light, posture, online vocabulary) to traditional oil painting. Through the representation of the contemporary figure, I try to shed a new light on the paradoxal mechanisms of the perception of ourselves and the world. 

Where are you from?

I’m from France. Since 2006, I live between Normandy and Berlin.

Fleur Helluin, London Bridge, 2017

Fleur Helluin, London Bridge, 2017

Your style in 3 words?

Intense, accidental, ochre

Your weakness? Your strength?

weakness: bad at stairs / strength: able to swim in fairly cold water

What makes you different?

I’m really good at what I do. In my work, I question through painting why and how we are so absorbed by the screen and love so much to see ourself in it. It seems like a simple question, but it puts in motion the core of why we represent, and how it is changed in our time. I’m not looking for a visual answer to those questions, but rather put the elements in place within the pictural space.

Fleur Helluin, Oh No, 2016

Fleur Helluin, Oh No, 2016 

When did you decide to become an artist?

It just happened, this is what I’m the best at and what I enjoy the most.

What do you find most fascinating about your work?

Being in the work flow. The surprise at the end of a work session is also pleasant, as I try to engage with an image and the result is always surprising. As a result I tend to not have anything special in mind when I start a work. If only I could be the same in the rest of my life, it would be fantastic. 

A few words about your favorite creation?

It’s always the next one. I can’t wait to make a next painting, even though it sometimes takes days or weeks before starting.

Fleur Helluin, Madrid Night, 2017

Fleur Helluin, Madrid Night, 2017

Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…

There are so many, it’s very hard to choose. Giovanni Bellini is obviously numero uno, but I’m literally drooling over Sofonisba Anguissola, Giorgione, Titian, Picasso, Robert Campin and many many more. In the contemporary painters, I love the work of Robin F. Williams and Louis Fratino for the Americans, Jochen Plogsties and Kristina Schuldt for the Germans, Damien Cadio and Maude Maris for the French, Nicola Samori, and of course David Hockney and Alice Neel too.

That’s a lot of people! 

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?

I’m working on a show that will be in Paris in May. There’s no point in talking about the rest. The work is born when it’s out. 

Fleur Helluin, Winning, 2017

Fleur Helluin, Winning, 2017 

Finish the sentence More important than my career is…“

how this painting will turn out.

2018: Where are we going?

to 2019

When the going gets tough

the tough gets painting 

Your city’s favourite spots?

In Berlin : Schloss Neuschweinsteiger for the best drinks, AKA for tatoos, the SO36, the Monster Ronson’s, and the Spree for a swim.

In Caen : Le Potager is delicious, I go there since 15 years.

Helluin, Teenage Dream, 2016

Helluin, Teenage Dream, 2016

Do you have a vision?

How many artists does it take to change a light bulb? Ten. One to change it, and nine to reassure him about how good it looks.

What would you do if you could change the World?

The world is perfect, the humans living in it are a bunch of morons. So I guess a solid extended education, access to all basic stuff, and a loving community for everyone would be a good start to make us less moronic.

Tell us about your future plans…

I have a show coming up in Paris that opens on the 17th of May. It’s my first solo in Paris, so I’m pretty excited.

Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?

OMG that’s so hard!!! Probably La Serenissima from Rondo Veneziano. Laura Giordano is a genius! The DNA version is also nice. It’s a perfect mix of beauty, trash and camp. Wooh? Yeah!


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