clemence devienne painting

Generally speaking, I am interested in encounters and moments of exchange. If I chose the portrait to express myself, it is first of all for its unique temporality: because it can be spread out over dozens of hours, it creates a space for dialogue, puts two individuals face to face who must get to know each other. The choice of the portrait is also political: it is a medium that ennobles, gives a historical standing and authority to the person portrayed.

For several years, I have been painting series of portraits in collaboration with neighborhood or community associations in France and the United States. By painting the faces of people from here – residents of Aubervilliers or the 19th arrondissement, migrants from the Stalingrad camp – and elsewhere – the “Faces of NOLA” project – I strive to unite these diverse communities around a meaningful project and to bring them into the prestigious tradition of portraiture.


Today, I am working on several new projects: the first, “Around the 104: Faces of the Riquet district”, consists in a series of portraits of the neighborhood’s inhabitants, which will be exhibited at the 104. The second “Facing the 19th district’s past” also engages with my neighborhood, this time through painting residents who are active in memorializing its history. The Third,  “Millenial Beauties”, proposes another vision of contemporary female beauty through portraits of young women—all of whom belong to the so-called “millennial” generation—whose beauty does not necessarily correspond to the dominant aesthetic criteria.