Architerior spoke to French artist Cali Rezo about her monochrome palette, working with her whole body to paint, the French art market and an artist’s uniqueness.
Where are you from?
I am French. I live in Paris, France.
How did your art career start?
I have always been into creation. After my studies, I started off with illustration and then worked in publishing and advertising for 20 years. However, two years ago, I took a U-turn and decided to focus on abstract painting.
And did you study art or are you more self taught?
After graduating, I spent 5 years in the School of Art in Paris (E.N.S.A.D.).
Can you describe your art style in more detail for us? What materials, forms, colours you prefer.
I am a non-figurative artist working along the lines of informal painting. I use a monochrome palette of blacks and whites and I like to reflect upon the aesthetics and the meaning of signs. My painting is also about interactions between matt and glossy textures.
What do you think is the hardest part of being an artist?
Because of the radicalism of my work, some people find it difficult to understand: I find myself unable to communicate with them, although I would like to share.
Moreover, in France, the art market and the world of galleries are elitist and very hard to access. Therefore, it is not easy to find a way into this closed-off part of society.
And what would you say is the best thing about being an artist?
I am solitary by nature. Being an artist allows me to be on my own whenever I want and I need to, which in turn frees me from censorship and lets me be entirely sincere.
So what are you working on right now?
I am currently working on the impact that the size of a painting can have on the public.
While my first paintings were small sizes that involved movements of my hand, I now paint on large canvases which mean large gestures involving my whole body.
Wow that sounds amazing! Do you think the concept of “good art” exists, and if so, what does that mean to you?
To me, “good art” should bring emotions, positive or negative, and not leave the spectator indifferent. It should not be about technique or tools but about meaning.
What inspires you to create? Where do you get ideas and energy?
My work is inspired both by the great artists I admire – such as André Marfaing, Fabienne Verdier, Pierre Soulages – and by the very heart of natural elements: a drop of water, a feather, a stone.
If you could exhibit your art anywhere, where would it be?
Even if I do not think of a place per se, I would dream of my art being exhibited somewhere calm, with natural light and where people could stay as long as they wanted to see the course of the sun on the paintings.
In your opinion, how does one stay unique in the art world, and is that important?
In my opinion, uniqueness should not be a final goal. It is by staying sincere and honest that you and your work can be worthwhile because walking your own path you necessarily become unique.
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