Inès Longevial operates in a colorful, oversize world, comprising sweeping canvases of patchwork faces, flowers, or suns; retro fabrics; and curling tendrils of hair. Each one is different—some painted with precision, some with a child-like abandon—but they are all self-portraits. “It’s me, but I’m made up of all the people I know,” the French artist, 30, says.
Longevial has displayed her work in several Paris galleries as well as New York’s Chandran Gallery last year. Her monograph is available for pre-order in its second edition, while her latest exhibition, at Ketabi Projects, outside Paris, opens this weekend (by appointment only) with a new body of her work.
Born in Agen, in the South of France, Longevial recalls spending time in her home garden re-arranging seashells in the same style that is now becoming her signature. But artistic inspiration took root even earlier. “When I was in the belly of my mother, she was a student doing a thesis on Dalí and Picasso,” she says. “I like to believe it comes from there.” Her style certainly seems to draw inspiration from the Spanish artists, particularly Picasso’s abstract compositions and bold use of color.
Longevial’s sweeping canvases of patchwork faces, flowers, or suns; retro fabrics; and curling tendrils of hair are all self-portraits.
It’s not easy making ends meet as an artist in Paris, where Longevial keeps a permanent space that acts as both her apartment and studio. In addition to showing her work at galleries, Longevial has collaborated with companies from Levi’s to Sézane on exclusive prints.
Though she has lived in Paris since age 23, Longevial prefers to work while traveling. Before the pandemic, the artist was accustomed to taking extended trips to Marrakech, New York, and San Francisco, bringing along her brushes and colors. “The best thing is never to stop,” she says. “I still need moments to take my breath, but a change of city allows me to renew without realizing it.” Something to look forward to in the New Year.
Nora Maloney is a Barcelona-based writer