Raphaële was born into a family of veterinarians and grew up surrounded by animals. Within these scientific surroundings she learned to love as well as observe them carefully. Combining a keen sense of observation and a sure brushstroke, she joined the Art School of Lyon to study illustration.
She began her career using her talents as an illustrator of children’s books. She also participated in the creation of theatre posters, magazine illustrations and postcards. But soon she discovered that she preferred to express herself in more personal painting exhibitions.
Raphaële focuses exclusively on the representation of the animal world that has always surrounded her. That is why she prefers painting with oil, which provides a wide range of colours and materials, bringing her paintings to life. She continues to recreate the world of her childhood through her colourful and plump animals.
She combines humour and lightness (that come from her background in illustration) with a sharper caricaturist analysis of the animal kingdom, giving depth beyond mere illustration to her animal series. Her often offbeat perception of the world is reflected in the harmony of shapes and colours that splash the canvas. Raphaële is constantly looking for new characters that are endearing enough to be the hero of a story found in nature that she will transcribe with irony onto the canvas.
To give texture to her paintings, Raphaële places flat glass beads ("Chinese marbles") in the animals’ eyes. With bulging eyes, these whimsical animals seem to observe us with irony ; a game of exchanging looks between the observer and the observed. These animal caricatures then become human caricatures, resembling us as they resemble the artist: at times funny, touching, lively, gentle...
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