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Shy. Perfectionist. Iris Legendre.

© Iris Legendre, Untitled, 2019

„My drawings do not allow any stylization, like a report. This comes from a fascination for anatomical plates.“


Iris Legendre 


Visual Artist


© Iris Legendre

Who are you? What do you do?

I’m a London based French artist.

My work is predominantly graphic ­—watercolour, charcoal, graphite, coloured pencil on paper­­— and is characterized by detailed observations of the body, such as eyes, mouth, palms, skin. My drawings do not allow any stylization, like a report. This comes from a fascination for anatomical plates. A fascination for the human body and for those clinical drawings, both cruel and delicate. I often work in series, which reinforces this aspect of meticulous study. In my series Photographies, I used original black-and-white family portraits that I covered with stones, corals, pearls, feathers or pierced with pins, staples and needles. A medium that requires no explanation and immediately triggers emotions. Those “hand-made” manipulations of images create a narrative which reveals what sometimes lurk behind the smiling faces in family albums. 

© Iris Legendre, Untitled II, 2019

© Iris Legendre, Untitled II, 2019

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Versailles, France. I studied in Paris, lived a bit in Sydney and NYC. Moved to London 3 years ago.

Your style in 3 words?

Precise. Fragile. Intimate.

Your weakness? Your strength?

Shy. Perfectionist.

What makes you different?

Am I different? 

When did you decide to become an artist?

I tried to focus on my works without thinking too much about this intimidating word.

© Iris Legendre, Eyeshadows, 2019

© Iris Legendre, Eyeshadows, 2019

A few words about your favourite creation?

I’m happy with the picture of the little girl pierced with needles because I think it has an immediate impact, it doesn’t need any explanation. Creating an image looking very simple though striking is the goal.

Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…

Francis Bacon, Michaël Borremans, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Louise Bourgeois, Henry Darger, Hans Memling, Kara Walker, Léon Spilliaert, Oda Jaune, Damien Cadio

Who would you like to work with someday and why?

I would say someone from a different, parallel discipline, like a fashion designer, writer, etc. When I had the opportunity, I liked to make collaborations outside of fine arts, making an illustration for a record, printing one of my pictures on silk for a fashion project, illustrating press articles with my photographs…

© Iris Legendre, Untitled III, 2019

© Iris Legendre, Untitled III, 2019 

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

I’ll try to draw on plaster, the result would be little objects, between sculpture and drawing.

Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“

My daughters 

2020: Where are we going?

Not sure. At least the Sussex family has found their way. 

When the going gets tough…

A Pisco Sour 

Your city’s favourite spot?

If you’re interested in anatomy I recommend the spooky Hunterian Museum (Royal College of Surgeons) at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

In Paris, le musée des moulages at Hôpital Saint-Louis is really impressive/disgusting as well.

Put on your future vision glasses: What direction is our generation moving in, what will our world look like in 50 years?

Who knows!

© Iris Legendre, Untitled, 2011

© Iris Legendre, Untitled, 2011

What would you do if you could change the World?

I have no such ambitions. So World, get better soon.

Tell us about your future plans…

To keep on 

Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?

Surprisingly my iTunes shows that the most played song is Kalinka by Red Army Choir

One last statement please: „Wood or stone, gold or art?“

I like this one by Gerhard Richter: “Pictures which are interpretable, and which contain a meaning, are bad pictures.”

Your #…?


Iris Legendre- portrait 2

Iris Legendre