This week, the KAZoART editorial team invites you into Cécile Duchêne-Malissin’s studio to discover her universe. In the artist’s dream-like figurative works one will find a mystical land that is rich in vegetation wherein humans and animals dwell in harmony. Let’s wander deeper into the luscious and delicate world of Cécile Duchêne-Malissin.

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin in a few words…

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin first studied applied arts in Paris and later studied in Montargis, where she now and works as a full-time painter. For more than 10 years her works have been exhibited in galleries across Europe. She is without doubt one of the KAZoART artists to follow in 2020!

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin is a resolutely figurative painter. Her canvases feature isolated characters that are imbued with a certain melancholy and seemingly immersed in deep introspection. They evoke feelings of adolescence and nostalgia, each canvas having its own moody aura.

The artist’s work is too vast and varied to label. Using a mix of acrylic paint, ink, paper and canvas, her compositions and subjects vary just as much as her mediums.

Although hidden behind masks and vegetation, the subjects in her paintings partially reveal themselves through a game of subtlety. With a lost gaze and full of restraint, they present themselves to the viewer. But one must ask, is it the viewer who observes the subject, or the subject who observes the viewer?

Works by Cécile Duchêne-Malissin on KAZoART

K. How did your vocation as an artist come about?

Having always felt the urge to draw, I knew very early on that I wanted to make my passion my profession. I did literary baccalaureate with a concentration in art history and applied arts with the goal of getting into art school.

After graduating from the Olivier de Serres School of Applied Arts in Paris, I worked for a few years in an architect’s office. I then joined the Faculty of Visual Arts in Strasbourg to work in their multimedia division. This allowed me to work in the world of graphic design.

I then decided to work part-time so that I could devote more of myself to my art and start selling my work in galleries. A few years ago, I stopped all professional activities in order to wholly devote myself to my passion and become a full-time artist.

K. How does a typical painting session take place?

For a long time I’ll stay on the same theme, repeating it several times onto different canvases. I aim to create compositions into which photos and layered drawings can be fully integrated.

Wishing to move away from “simple painting”, my starting point is a partly primed canvas. I then embellish the work using various mediums such as oil paint, crayons, graphite lead, collages and sometimes even needle and thread.

K. What/who are your artistic inspirations and influences?

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin, Renaissance II

My artistic inspiration come from the images around me; those of everyday life, images online or in a film. The sources are endless and the inspirations are resolutely figurative.

K. What is your relationship with the themes in your paintings (childhood, nature, loneliness, etc.)?

My paintings do not evoke any reference to time or place because they are of no importance in the narrative of my work. Rather, they seek to convey our fragility and our need to hide behind a protective envelope when faced with the trials of the harsh world we live in.

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin, Camouflage psychédélique

My characters evolve in almost abstract settings that are invaded by lush vegetation. Their often tenuous expression, distant attitude and secrecy all work to express the shadow that all humans hide behind.

Paintings by Cécile Duchêne-Malissin sur KAZoART