Florent Farges

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Florent Farges


I was born in Compiègne, France, in 1986. I currently live and work in Pierrefonds, France. My career path has not been linear, far from it but my current work is the result of multiple experiences, it is a formal blend of art and philosophy, particularly of the existentialist movement which has greatly influenced my work.


Mainly self-taught, I came to fine arts late, after rejecting the modernist approach that was taught in most french art institutions at the time. Not fitting in the mold of contemporary art schools, I chose to study philosophy as a student but never stopped drawing and painting. A few years later, I discovered contemporary realism and the renewal of figurative art. From there, I decided to quit and become an artist but this project would still require years of slowly building solid technical foundations.


I had to learn to paint on my own. For six years, I would go to work during the day and focus on my art at night and on weekends. I was lucky enough to be able to go and study drawing for six months at the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA) in 2014. The teaching, directly inherited from the French Beaux-Arts ateliers of the nineteenth century, was exactly what I was looking for to achieve excellence in drawing technique. Due to lack of time and resources, I was unable to stay in London for more than six months and finish the three-year course, but the training was very helpful and disciplined me to learn oil painting on my own. I went through all the books and explored all the online resources to learn to paint like the Old Masters.


At the same time, I started to share my work on the internet, especially through videos on YouTube. By working night and day, relentlessly, I managed to achieve enough mastery to collaborate with the charcoal brand Nitram, who exhibited my work at the Creativeworld fair in Frankfurt in 2018 and also made me the face of one of their advertisements in an art magazine. I also worked with the American channel PBS Nova in 2019, appearing in a documentary about Leonardo da Vinci called Decoding Da Vinci.


Looking back, I may have lost a few years but I have no regrets studying philosophy and not going to a contemporary art school. Reading thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jonas or even Levinas has deeply influenced my work. This existentialist influence can be found today in my paintings, through the themes I like to explore: the absurd, anguish, death, good and evil, responsibility, otherness, presence, love. In each painting, I try to evoke what words are unable to express. The concept of poetic truth is central to my work in the primary sense of the term poiêsis (creation). I seek to create a pictorial universe that resonates with the viewer's imagination and pushes it to transcend the superficial reality of things to contemplate their profound reality.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.