7 Questions to Claire Borde

Claire Borde is a French painter and printmaker. The artist draws, paints in oil and engraves, and it is with pleasure that she accepted to answer our questions.


Claire Borde woman painter-engraver

Could you tell us in a few words, in your opinion, what is the place of women artists in the contemporary art world in France?


If I refer to the beginning of the last century when the recognition of women's art was still an exception, this situation has changed. I think of Cécile Reims, for example, better known for her work of interpretation with burin of the drawings of Hans Bellmer, Fred Deux or Leonor Fini than for her own engraved research.

Even if at present, the place of women artists in France is more and more established within the French institutional art scene or in galleries, their works are still to be defended, to be presented and in that, your approach is essential.


What is the path that led you to draw and printmaking?

I have been drawing for a very long time.

I met engraving at the Regional School of Fine Arts in Rennes. This technique fascinated me by many aspects: the expressive diversity that it offers, the smell of ink, varnishes, the intaglio press, the revelation of the print after the passage under the press...

You are a painter-engraver, at the crossroads of these movements, how would you define your style?


What message do you wish to convey through your art?

I draw with color, I paint with lines.

At that time of my artistic studies, I was trying to make a painting with the means of drawing, engraving was the place of practice which in my opinion allowed this meeting.

Currently, if crossings, junctions operate between these mediums, as in the nocturnes, they are also deployed in an autonomous way in the proper register of their implementation.

The engraving, the drawing, crucibles of intimate universes, notes, research, are spaces of freedom, and can collect all the desires, all the fantasies. This does not mean that painting is not also a space of freedom, it is just that the lightness of paper is perhaps more conducive to the wanderings of the hands ... perhaps, because nothing is less certain than this statement.

The links between these various elements, drawing, painting, sculpture, or engraving, make sense to me.


You are a painter-engraver, at the crossroads of these movements, how would you define your style?

I draw with color, I paint with lines.

At that time of my artistic studies, I was trying to make a painting with the means of drawing, engraving was the place of practice which in my opinion allowed this meeting.

Currently, if crossings, junctions operate between these mediums, as in the nocturnes, they are also deployed in an autonomous way in the proper register of their implementation.

The engraving, the drawing, crucibles of intimate universes, notes, research, are spaces of freedom, and can collect all the desires, all the fantasies. This does not mean that painting is not also a space of freedom, it is just that the lightness of paper is perhaps more conducive to the wanderings of the hands ... perhaps, because nothing is less certain than this statement.

The links between these various elements, drawing, painting, sculpture or engraving, make sense to me.


What message do you wish to convey through your art?

It seems to me that painting is a language in itself.

If the drawings, paintings, or sculptures that I create can touch the viewers, then something would be accomplished!

Recurrences are at work in my practice: the touch of the hand, the organic tracings to which respond the fullness of color or a geometric form, the elusiveness of water transcribed in the materiality of a shadow and a bite in etching on copper (The Source, root of water), the velvet of textures...

All these elements, of opposite appearance, are joined together in a dialogue...


What are the people and things that inspire you?

Nature inspires me, especially the streams between the trees. The sun reveals the course of a stream on stones, shadows, light and its perceptive phenomena, reflections.

The work itself begets the work. A path can be explored with each painting or drawing, which I choose to follow or not.

Cy Twombly's art impresses me, more precisely, the audacity, the freedom, the assurance of his hand, of which the large formats testify, combined with the subtlety and the delicacy of the tone. A great look!

Although very opposed to Twombly's energy, Francis Bacon's work, discovered during the very beautiful Bacon retrospective at the Georges Pompidou Center, nourishes me even more. It gives rise to a multitude of visual ideas and questions the way we look at it.


What are the different stages of production?

First of all, there is a thought that looks like a vision. Then comes the impossibility of realizing this vision... The immersion in the materiality unveils the images, they are an emergence. All the work, in my opinion, lies in making oneself present to what is played out on the canvas. The painting, the drawing or the engraving come to give body to this unreality.

The texture of the painting determines the nature of the vision, the material of the dream, dreams of light or its mystery.


What is your favorite French dish?

I like too many things to have a single favorite dish... There are so many flavors in food! It's the diversity in its associations that has my favor!