Olivier Massebeuf

An adept at music and drawing, Olivier developed a very strong inclination to practical arts since childhood. Between cartoons, songs and keyboards, the young man from Lyon tried out various disciplines throughout his adolescence before integrating the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1982, where he was to train for one year in drawing techniques. In the end, Olivier chose to orient himself towards a specialised course in teaching English, another passion that has inspired him since his years in middle school.

Nevertheless, his attraction for the domain of creation did not weaken, and in 2000 he decided to once more commit himself to painting. Spontaneous and sensitive, his work depicts people in a realistic and expressive manner, whether using acrylic, oil or pastel. Special detailed attention is given to the postures and faces of his subjects, who often appear to belong to the universe of the performing arts, and dance in particular.

Alone and in groups, his models bewitch us with their grave, majestic presence, keeping us from looking away. This is a very modern approach, and the originality of his perspectives and the special treatment of human anatomy place Olivier’s pictorial work in the audacious line of the works of Egon Schiele (1890-1918) and Francis Bacon (1909-1992), with whom he claims an admiring kinship, even though his influences transcend this single domain and extend towards cartoons – Hugo Pratt (1927-1995), Will Eisner (1917-2005) and Jacques Tardi (born in 1946) -.