RIOT ART GALLERY: A curated selection of art for the next generation collector

Myths and pastel dreams - The paintings of Heloise Delegue

InterviewsErika Belavy

We are pleased to introduce you to the captivating work of Héloïse Delègue. She is a young French painter who already has an impressive artistic career. She graduated in 2012 with a BA in Visual Arts from the Sorbonne University in Paris and has since been exhibited internationally in New York, London, Luxembourg, Rio de Janeiro and Gothenburg. 

"Emperor", Acrylic on Canvas. 130 x 110 cm. 2016.

"Emperor", Acrylic on Canvas. 130 x 110 cm. 2016.

Héloïse creates dream-like scenes using pastel colours. Forms are transformed into surreal shapes that captivate and invite the viewer into a lingering gaze. The dominant fleshy colours and glimpses of nudity build up to an intelligently placed sexual overtone. In an interview with Venison Magazine, she explains how one of her latest paintings, ”Emperor”, directly refers to the feminine Oedipus complex. Since moving to Sweden, Heloise has been interested by the questions of gender and identities, trying to identify what defines masculinity and femininity. Here, she explores dramatic imposing male figures interacting with their female surroundings in various contexts. 

We couldn't help but ask a few questions ourselves to learn more about her work.

What made you decide to become an artist?

I think it has always been within me but it took me a long time before taking the step of saying: ”Ok. This is who I am and what I breathe for.” I guess certain events of my life which were hard to overcome made me strongly believe that art was a need in order for me to just be. This is when I realized it was where I belong. 

What is your artistic process?

The way I start a painting can vary from time to time. I quite often have a basic idea and a rough sketch of the painting I want to make. However, when I start painting, I quite often lose myself in the process and then build up the layers of the story I want to tell, quite often through the use of patterns, symbols or other kinds of figurative elements and architectural lines. So, it´s basically a constant process of losing and finding myself always juggling between complete abstraction and figurative.

What do you want to accomplish with your work? How are you doing this?

I want to make Art that intrigues, disturbs and that is visually strong. My work explores domestic architecture spaces as site for humankind exploration. What interests me is to recuperate women's archetypes as a sense of heritage to question hierarchies within genders in our contemporary context.

I am really interested in the notion of femininity which I try to dig into both in my 3D artworks and my paintings.

When I create 3D artworks, I often assemble traditional objects from the daily domestic life and recycled textile fragments from various origins which I blend together using various materials such as latex or plaster.

I like to look at symbols of the domestic life traditionally associated with women, recuperate them and modify them in a scattered way. I also create abstract human forms, mainly out of nylon tights which I fill in with objects, stitch together and install in various spaces to question hierarchies within genders. I guess that´s how I´m doing it but I am just here to question, that´s all. I don't give any kind of answers.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To travel in time and space.

View more of her work here :)