Emilie Picard


b. 1984, France


In her large-scale paintings Emilie Picard creates complex narratives, blending figuration, abstraction, deep psychological undercurrents and art historical references, ranging from Abstract Expressionism to early Italian Renaissance frescos.


Like a theatrical stage director, she carefully choreographs and positions her "actors" - be it a toy giraffe or a broken toy house, a belt or an umbrella, to create psychologically loaded paintings. Picard's unique talent is creating works that are both playful and light, yet somber and deep. It's a good metaphor for the world around us, with so many cheerful components brightening up our lives, yet the whole picture carries a general sense of brokenness and fragmentation of the society. It makes her works deeply contemporary.


The theme of Vanitas can best describe Emily Picard's oeuvre. This traditional subject matter originates from the Old Testament's Ecclesiastic texts and has an illustrious past in the history of painting. The collections of objects that emphasized the inevitability of death, the transience of life and vanity of earthly achievements usually consisted of skulls, manuscripts, and various related paraphernalia. Picard takes this timeless subject and elevates it to the contemporary realm, with depictions of discarded toys, trash, random pieces of clothing and various remnants of human activities. Her canvases have cracks, gaps and tears to emphasize the fragility of life and our own eventual physical degradation and disappearance.


Emilie Picard studied at Centre de formation des plasticiens intervenants HEAR, Strasbourg,  at École supérieure d'art et de design Marseille-Méditerranée, France, and VSUP, Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Praha, (CZ). Her works have been extensively shown across Europe.