Artistic statement & approach
“I’m interested in the painting of portraits because faces are not processed by the brain as mere objects but spontaneously interact with the viewer. Everyday, we automatically perceive a multitude of faces. Each of them gives us both a sense of familiarity and strangeness” says, Sandrine Astier.
Always concerned about the physiognomy of emotions she however experiences portrait painting by trying to free herself from the constraints of hyper-realism, seeking a balance between figuration and abstraction and trying to give all their expressive power to the colours, materials and lines. More specifically, she represents real or fictional people often in close-up, sometimes staged.
She is also concerned about the relationship between painting and music. Immersed in music since childhood, her work is inseparable from it. Her paintings reach out to music by her wish to express feelings through harmonies, rhythms and colours. Through the series of portraits of musicians, Sandrine Astier reflects how she feels when listening to their musical compositions. She makes an effort to establish these artists as icons rather than to make exact copies of them.
During her training in sculpture and modelling based on live models under the direction of Martine Lutz, Sandrine Astier learns the 3-dimensional representation of the entire human body, she she trained in fine arts at the Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg and obtains her Master of Arts in June 2000. Thanks to this rich and diverse education, she studies painting with deepness both in theory and practice in workshops dedicated to the analysis and interpretation of major works such as paintings by Pablo Picasso inspired by African art or the works of Klimt. The latter still has a great impact on her work.
“These compositions mixing Apollonian and Dionysian really touch me! He is of those who have found the perfect balance between figuration and abstraction,”
says Sandrine Astier.
At the time of her MA, she is interested by the experimental approach of the Cobra movement, which becomes her Hobbyhorse for two years. After studying their manifesto, she puts into practice their theories and applies them to her own project. This is when she realizes that painting would be the means of expression she would deepen and practice from now on. Additionally during this period, Sandrine Astier is also active in associations for the promotion of arts and music:
“I organized exhibitions, concerts, and performances and was very close to the street art community at that time.
I regularly participated in murals, which allowed me to move my archetypes from the canvas to the walls. However, I limited my performance to the face more than the body as a whole and by this seeking to create a universal symbol of human being. During these experiments between walls and paintings my archetypes became clearer. “
says Sandrine Astier.
Technically, Sandrine Astier uses mixed media such as acrylic paints, oil, spray paints and markers, ink or chalk on canvas and paper on canvas. Text © Xavier Penninckx 2011
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