Valentine Louafi

 

I am graduated from an art school (where I studied 2D animated movies) and from University where my thesis encompassed the representation of silhouettes in animation movies, especially transcribing expression and body movement and the use of positive and negative contrast between the two. My work has always been drawn to this type of representation due to the delicate and powerful nature of the silhouette and also its simplicity, while evoking endless depth and meaning.But after school, although i knew exactly what kind of art I wanted to make, I wasn't enough mature to embark me in an artistic career. It took me more than 10 years to master it, and be able to shoulder a full time artist life within this special style. Now, I'm confident and I know that is one of the best decision I made in my life.

 

After university, I have to survive financially, so I worked as graphic designer in a company. It was very creative but too much mercantile and marketing for me. I decided to be freelance graphic designer maybe 2 years ago. It helps me to save some time to reconnect with my art, and life in general. And then, months ago, after my first exhibition in London, I decided to be what I always wanted to be, and make a leaving being a full time artist.

 

I'm inspired by People. Mostly indigeneous cultures around the globe practicing every sort of body art. Faces and expressions fascinate me. You can see the sparkle of life just looking at people. My cut reveal the life carved in a sight, an attitude. So I mostly work on portraits. My will is to show the diversity of the comprehension of beauty by capturing the essence and authenticity and create a cuttout technique able to render the texures, like the scarified skin, or the hair. Light and transparency give powerful relief, delicate uniqueness and deepness to the subject. I would like the viewers to feel the connected with these people, feel the cultures. My art is an space for peace, creating bridges between cultures. Maybe believe the utopic idea that we are all one and able to reach the universality in the diversity that lives in every being.

 

My specialty is Papercutting ! I use mostly paper cutting because it satisfied my exigency of the perfect gesture, required patience, precision and risks in a "one shot" spirit: a bad cut with the blade, and you have to do it again. This is also quite a meditating and quiet process whislt paper is removed and picture appears slowly.


With some contraints like a limited tool such as a blade and a sheet of paper, you need to be more creative.


Playing with shadows is the corollary of cutting paper. I like for exemple to frame the cuttouts into a shadow box, between two pieces of glasses to make them float and allow the shadow to be projected onto the metal gold paper background. So that the reflection and shadows fill the spaces and coloured the skin in constantly various golden tones depending from when the viewers show the artwork. There is a dialog between the viewer and the artwork constantly moving, forcing people to move around too. There is something elusive. And free.

 

My favorite subjects are by far, portraits. Capturing the soul and give it to the world in the aim to reconnect people from everywhere with each others, without judgment. I work is in the middle of my living room, on the floor !
I hate desk and love messy rooms.  I have not a preferred location, as far as it is down on the floor, like I need to feel connected to the ground, closest to Earth, and free to move and mess up.

 

 

 



 

I'm a french graphic designer, based in sunny Southern France. I turned out to become a full time paper cut artist along the way as gates opened up. So basically, I cut paper, cutting the world with lights and shadows. All day long :)

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