People who grew up in the city are all too used to high rise buildings and an environment built around skyscrapers. Karine Roche takes that vision and fuses it with her personal experiences of living in more than five countries and transforms these impressions into art. She shares her love story with art in Tempo…
Tempo: Who is Karine Roche?
I am a French artist and I have been living in Abu Dhabi with my family since 2010. We had heard about the growing interest in art in the region and we thought it could be a good idea to come and establish something here. I am also teaching painting at the National Theatre.
Tempo: How did you get into art?
As far as I can remember I have always been painting. I studied art in France and I have a diploma of Architectural Environment and I held my first exhibition at my school when I lived in Indonesia. I was recognized by the Foundation Colas in 2005 and received the painting award “Novembre a Vitry” in 2003. I have exhibited in France, UAE, Lebanon, Moscow and China. Last year I held an exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum during the summer art festival and this January I participated in the “Woman and Art” exhibition, which was under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohamed Al Qasimi.
I see painting is a job because it needs a lot of investment, time and concentration. After a day of painting you can feel very exhausted! There is the time to paint but more and more the time to promote. Artists need a dynamic art market because it is the only way to help culture and creation.
Tempo: Describe your creative process.
I always work on many paintings at the same time, around 10 or more and this is for a couple of reasons: firstly technical: I work with oil painting so it takes time for the painting to dry and I have to wait before I can start painting on it again. Secondly, when I feel stuck on a specific painting I change and work on another one! Usually there are links between all of them.
Tempo: You focus a lot on the environment – why is that?
I grew up all over the world, Brazil, Nigeria, Libya, Kenya, Madagascar, Indonesia… I was travelling to different countries every year. Through painting I get to keep a souvenir of the feeling of each place, specifically the architecture and vegetation which are unique to a region. There are no humans in my paintings but as they are the builders of this world, they exist behind the constructions. Skyscrapers represent the globalization of architecture.
Tempo: How do people react to your work?
They ask me how long it took me to do one painting! Only the persons who like my work come to talk to me. I helps me a lot because it is not an easy to stay alone all the day in my studio – sometime I have a lot of doubt and think I should do other things. I work as a hermit but when I see that it makes people interested and happy, it makes me feel good.
Tempo: What kind of art inspires you?
It can be abstract painting and how the painter has used colour or new materials. I love artists such as Pollock, Poliakoff, Rothko, Sam Francis. I like the diffraction of light by the Impressionists Bonnard and Monet. I am impressed by Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Peter Doig, Francis Bacon, and many other painters.
Tempo: How can our readers reach you?
I just joined a new art platform called www.artscoops.com and my website is karineroche.com.