Interview: Olivier Petite-Hell
Luca Curci talks with Olivier Petite-Hell during RITUALS, first appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022 art fair, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Olivier Petit-Helle is an autodidact French painter who began his career in 2020. He found his way into art when in need of healing from difficult past experiences and since then, Petit-Helle has developed his art into his own unique creative style. The French artist is curious and likes to experiment a lot and painting allows him to give a dimension to his creativity. He likes the work of the material, the texture with impasto, the strong colors, and the movement while remaining sober in his creations. Light plays an essential role in the works of Petit-Helle, making the artworks evolve according to the angle of view or the ambient light. He also incorporates phosphorescence in some of his designs, making them look different in the dark. Even if he appreciates figurative art, the abstract remains for him a domain of predilection, in the hope of transmitting some of the pleasure he obtains from painting through his works. The artist prefers when his art touches the viewer in some way, even if it means that the viewer finds the art disturbing. Reactions and emotions awakened by his artworks are an important part of Olivier Petit-Helle. Although he is new in the art field, the artworks of Petit-Helle have already been shown to an audience in Italy, the United Kingdom, and California. And this could be only the beginning.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Olivier Petite-Hell – Behind the creative aspect it is a universal and altruistic means of expression, an openness of oneself towards others, and exposing one’s sensitivity to others. It is also an inexhaustible source of my curiosity.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
OPH – I come from an environment that is rather closed to culture, even hostile to it. It is probably out of the challenge that I have always practised artistic activities. Without a doubt, my first exhibition, was barely six months since I started my professional activity as a painter and it was a shock, this experience was a change.
LC – How is your creative process?
OPH – Generally I conceptualize mentally, I think long and hard when I have to work in impasto to know how the light will interact, and I also think in terms of color. However, I never remain a prisoner of the first idea, I sometimes change my mind along the way.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
OPH – I am a relatively recent painter but I think we can say that I am starting to assert myself more in my pictorial expression, I experiment more and more too, either by working my colors directly from pigments or by testing new materials to incorporate into my creations.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
OPH – It depends, sometimes I feel a relief to have accomplished a work, sometimes a feeling of sadness, sometimes nothing at all because I went directly to the next one.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
OPH – The concept of the exhibition plunges us into our roots on the one hand because we are all connected to our planet, the beings who live there, and our environment, on the other hand, it notes an awareness that is becoming more and more important. for many citizens, our world is in bad shape. It also allows me to think about the future with the use of new, more natural materials in my future creations.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
OPH – They are largely inspired by the work of Pierre Soulages and his extraordinary “Outrenoir”. These three paintings are precisely the expression of my work on light and how it can play with relief. There are also my frank, raw colors and the metal which are quite typical for me.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
OPH – Certainly yes. And it is a huge honor for me to have been contacted to participate in the “Anima Mundi” exhibition in Venice.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
OPH – Of course, the staff I spoke with were charming, very attentive, and professional.